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Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Molly Gallagher April 18, 2024

On Wednesday, April 17, the boys’ varsity tennis team dominated their match against Archie Williams in the semi-finals of the Marin County...

Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Emma Rosenberg and Penelope Trott April 18, 2024

On April 18, the girls’ varsity lacrosse team battled against the Branson Bulls in a blowout senior day matchup. Prior to the start of...

 embracing his coach senior Auden Braden celebrates his final MCAL regular season game
Boys’ volleyball dominates Marin Catholic on Senior Night
Richard Byrne April 18, 2024

On April 17th, the boys’ varsity volleyball team faced off against Marin Catholic (MC) in a Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) game. The...

Community Unites: Voting ‘Yes on A’ for Our Schools’ Future

On March 5, the voters of Marin County will determine whether Bond Measure A passes. This is a $517 million bond that directly affects the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD), which includes Archie Williams High School, Tamalpais High School (Tam), Redwood High School, San Andreas High School and Tamiscal High School. With Redwood and Archie Williams being over 60 years old and Tam being over 100, upgrades are needed, as the last significant update was done over 20 years ago and the state is not required to provide funding for facility upgrades.

The multistep plan for improvements to Redwood will cost around 148 million dollars but will impact all of Redwood’s campus, as seen in the mockup diagram.

David O’Connor, the Senior Director of Maintenance & Operations ensures that every campus in the Tamalpais Union School District operates correctly through numerous construction projects. He recognizes the district is due for a new renovation.

“From an operational point of view, the school district needs [the bond]. The infrastructure has aged and quite honestly, quality of education is influenced by the campuses and buildings that the students are housed in, so I think it’s really important,” O’Connor said. 

TUHSD has gathered around 775 members of the community to help develop their multi-year facility master plan. This plan includes repairing leaky roofs and insufficient heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems. Additionally, it will rebuild and upgrade math, art, music and science classrooms. They will also address the flooding problem at Ghilotti Field. Furthermore, the bond will help update classroom technology and equipment as well as replace safety systems. On top of all of this, the measure will improve disability access and repair or replace portable classrooms. 

This multi-year plan will begin the day after the 2023-2024 school year ends and will initially focus on the immediate issues. These issues look slightly different at each school and are a common concern for voters. 

“Unfortunately, due to whatever school you go to, the perception [of work being done] may mean that more work was done at [a different school], but there is a certain degree of urgency and equality between all the schools,” O’Connor said. 

The new dining common space is designed to get students out of their cars and off hallway floors and instead into an area for everyone to eat together, working to unify the Redwood campus.

For Redwood, priority one is roughly $28 million, which includes infrastructure improvements of ADA (The Americans with Disabilities Act), irrigation, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, roofing and utilities. However, after completing all three stages, the total will be around $148 million. At Redwood, you will find students eating in their cars or classrooms, as there are few options for seating in the cafeteria. If the bond measure is approved, TUHSD will reconstruct the cafeteria to make it more welcoming for students, as many currently take refuge in the school’s hallways on rainy days.

Mike Woolard, the Senior Director of Facilities Planning works with other bond committee members to create priorities in each district. The bond measure would address the need for more eco-friendly and renewable energy, implemented in infrastructure change. The heating at Redwood is dependent on a steam radiator system, where water is boiled and run through older pipes. The technology is outdated, utilizing gasses and fossil fuels, both inefficient and requiring constant maintenance. The proposed solution is a heat pump system that would run on electricity with a solar power offset.

The proposed layout for the new buildings creates a much more modern feel than the current standing buildings built in 1968.

In addition to this, the Redwood pool is kept at a warm 80 degrees year-round, not without expense to both the planet and the wallet. 

“Right now, we have a gas heating system that heats a bunch of air and does the same thing, [but] we’re trying to convert a quarter of that to solar,” Woolard said.

These positive changes would directly affect students and parents enrolled in TUHSD schools. However, the Official County of Marin website shows that 27 percent of Marin’s residents are over the age of 60, leading to less connection and drive for the bond measure. However, O’Connor and Woolard shared how property values will rise, impacting everyone countywide. 

 “There are studies that show when you have really good schools, people migrate to that area, raising property values.  I think the community has the patience and knows the long-term good [the measure brings],” Woolard said. 

“I understand people being frustrated paying for something they aren’t going to benefit from, but I do think [that] property values improve with [top-tier] schools,” O’Connor said.

Community members show support for the approval of bond Measure A through front-yard signs. (Photo by Charlotte Lacy)

All opinions are valid in the vote and the TUHSD area has proven to be supportive of steps toward positive change in the past. 

“We really appreciate the support of the community because I know, especially here, everybody’s really proud of the schools they have in their neighborhood. I mean, it’s amazing. Redwood, Tam and Archie are unique communities that rally around [their] school,” Woolard said.

 You can visit the Yes on A website at www.yesona4tamdistrictschools.org to learn more about the bond measure and upcoming election.

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About the Contributors
Cora Champommier
Cora Champommier is a sophomore at Redwood High School and is a cub reporter for the Nonfiction class. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with friends, and watching good shows with her family and cats. 
Charlotte Lacy
Charlotte Lacy, News Editor
Charlotte Lacy is a junior at Redwood High School and is a news editor for the Bark. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, running track, and playing with her dogs.