Supporters of the $146.1 million Fairfax school bond on November's referendum ballot, opening their campaign yesterday to win voter approval of the record spending proposal, said they knew of no organized opposition to the plan.
The binding proposal would finance construction of seven elementary schools and three special education centers in the county's growth areas, provide additions at eight elementary schools and renovate 17 schools in older neighborhoods.
School officials say they need the construction to accommodate children whose families are moving into the county and new school programs being set up, including one to lower class size.
"We are out of space for our children, and we also have some old, old schools that need to be upgraded," said School Board Chairman Mary E. Collier. "This community expects excellence. They are willing to pay for excellence."
The bond drive will be headed by Philip Reilly, a businessman who is president of Oak View Elementary School PTA and is active in other civic groups.
Oak View, in Fairfax, is so crowded that it uses 11 temporary classroom buildings. Overall, county schools use 196 temporary classroom buildings.
Reilly said the bond drive committee expects to spend $10,000 to $15,000 on a campaign that will include speeches and pamphlets. He said he is "very optimistic" about the referendum's passage, and said the biggest problem appears to be "elevating people's consciousness," not any organized opposition.
The committee is concerned that a lack of issues on the Nov. 4 ballot may result in a low turnout. In addition to the bond issue, there is only one contested congressional race and one congressional election in which a Republican is so far unopposed.