FREMONT -- Early morning emails that James Morris received Wednesday reminded him that Measure E's victory the previous night had been no fluke.

Several parents already had contacted the superintendent of Fremont schools, urging him to spend part of the $650 million bond measure on aging facilities as soon as possible.

"One parent wanted certain projects started today, asking when we'll fix the air conditioning at her child's school," Morris said.

The public's sense of urgency to get started on Fremont's estimated $1.6 billion in campus needs likely explains the bond measure's comfortable margin, as it captured 61.5 percent of the vote.

Measure E, the largest single school bond in Alameda County history, needed only 55 percent of the vote for approval.

Now, Fremont's 42 campuses, some which are a half-century old, will receive much-needed upgrades, Morris said. That work, which could begin within a year, will include renovating science labs, upgrading plumbing and restrooms, replacing deteriorating portable classrooms, modernizing technology and computer equipment, and repairing faulty wiring and dry-rotted roofs.

More than 10,200 Fremont residents voted for the bond measure, and nearly 6,400 voters -- around 38.5 percent -- opposed it.

"After seeing the results late Tuesday, everyone (at the school district) felt a sense of appreciation that we had been able to communicate the message of doing what's right for this community," he said.


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School bond opponents had argued that the measure set aside too much money for cost overruns, would not properly address the district's weathered facilities and would lead to wasteful spending. Despite the defeat, Measure E opponent Kathryn McDonald said she hopes the issues raised in the campaign will influence school district decisions.

"Hopefully we started the discussion about replacing campuses rather than continuing to repair them with yet another bond," she said Wednesday. "I hope to serve on the oversight committee to ensure that the money gets spent to its best advantage."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.