March 2017 - Measure X Bond Update
Dear Community Members,
It has been 16 months since the voters of San Mateo and Foster City passed the Measure X facilities bond to provide funds to relieve overcrowding at schools in the San Mateo-Foster City School District and to provide additional classrooms and other space for increasing enrollment. Commitments when Measure X was passed included:
• Securing the Charter Square site for a fourth elementary school in Foster City
• Adding classrooms and gyms at Abbott and Borel Middle Schools in San Mateo
• Adding a gym at Bayside STEM Academy
• Adding classrooms and replacing the administration/support services building at Bowditch Middle School in Foster City
• Adding classrooms and new multipurpose rooms to George Hall and Sunnybrae Elementary Schools in San Mateo
• Building a new elementary neighborhood school on the College Park/Turnbull Children’s Center campus
The new elementary school in Foster City, the new gyms and additional classrooms at Abbott and Borel Middle Schools, and the new gym at Bayside STEM Academy are Phase I projects. The remaining projects were approved by the District’s Board of Trustees as Phase II projects and planning for them will begin in 2019. Measure X funds have been identified for the completion of both Phase I and Phase II projects.
In March, we began our outreach to community members in the area surrounding Abbott Middle School as well as families that currently attend Abbott and its feeder schools (Beresford, Fiesta Gardens, George Hall, Laurel & Meadow Heights) to share information about the new Abbott gymnasium and classrooms. If you were unable to attend the Abbott Community Meeting, you may still email your questions and input to email@example.com.
NEW SCHOOL IN FOSTER CITY
Planning began for the new school in Foster City after the District reached an agreement with Westlake Urban, the owner of the Charter Square Shopping Center, to purchase the site and school. The November 2016 agreement culminated many years of the District’s search for an appropriate site for a neighborhood school in Foster City to relieve overcrowding at Audubon, Brewer Island, and Foster City Schools and to provide additional classrooms for future enrollment increases. An Education Specifications Team comprised of teachers, support staff, school leaders, and parents along with District staff has worked with the school’s architectural team to provide input about the design of the new school. Three Community Meetings were held in November to which members of the community were invited to learn about the new school and to provide input into the design process. Over 120 Foster City residents attended one of the three Community Meetings and offered valuable perspectives and input to the District and architectural team. Those interested can follow the progress of the design and construction of the new elementary school for Foster City at www.smfcsd.net/new-foster-city-school.
MIDDLE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
School Committees comprised of the Principal, teachers and parents as well as District leaders have been meeting since last spring respectively to provide input on the educational specifications and location and design of the new gyms and classrooms to be added to the Borel and Abbott sites and the new gym to be added to Bayside STEM Academy. Each school’s Education Specifications Committee has selected an architect from the District’s list of pre-qualified architects and has been working in the last few months to provide input on the needs for the new buildings and the design and location. Similar to the new Foster City School project, there will be Community Meetings held for the Abbott, Borel and Bayside STEM communities respectively to provide information on the project and to review the design principles and the schematics including location, scale, access and general aesthetics. And, similarly to the Foster City project, the District has given direction to the three architectural firms to design projects which are compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods while meeting the needs of the schools.
AFTER DESIGNS ARE FINALIZED
In California, school construction and modernization are governed by rigorous State codes and regulations. Projects will be reviewed and overseen by two entities — the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Division of the State Architect (DSA). The DSA is responsible for the review and approval of both school facilities design and construction documents as well as oversight of the actual construction. As part of the submission process, the District will comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). After these steps are completed for each project, which can take approximately six to nine months, construction will begin. For further information about all Measure X projects, readers are encouraged to check the District’s website at www.smfcsd.net and click on Measure X on the left side of the home page or go directly to www.smfcsd.net/measure-x
Thank you for your continued support of our students and schools!
Joan Rosas, Ed.D.