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New School in Foster City Rendering

SHOVELS IN THE GROUND IN 2018!

The new facilities projects at Abbott, Bayside and Borel Middle Schools and the new elementary school in Foster City will enter a much-anticipated stage of actual construction in 2018.  Reaching this point has come after months of school and community input about location and design and careful work by the architects and engineers charged with designing the new facilities.

These four projects comprise Phase I of Measure X passed by Foster City and San Mateo voters in November 2015 to provide classrooms and other needed facilities for current and projected increases in student enrollment.  The four Phase I projects are:

PHASE I 
• A fourth elementary school in Foster City to be built at Shell and Beach Park (see New Elementary School in Foster City March 2018 Update)
• Adding classrooms and gym at Abbott (visit the Abbott website for more information on the project)
• Adding classrooms and a gym at Borel Middle School (visit the Borel website for more information on the project)
• Adding a gym at Bayside STEM Academy (visit the Bayside STEM website for more information on the project)

Once detailed construction documents are completed for each of these projects, they are submitted to California’s Division of State Architect (DSA) for review and approval.  The estimated time between submission and approval is six months.

The Phase I projects are experiencing a very competitive construction environment.  All new projects, regardless of whether they are publicly or privately owned and financed, have experienced cost increases.  The District’s four projects are no exception and the District’s Board of Trustees has had several discussions over the last year about cost increases and how to reduce the costs of the projects while providing the needed facilities and keeping the District’s commitment to the voters for all eight of the Measure X projects.  These discussions and decisions will continue through the bidding process for the projects. 

Planning will begin in 2019 for Phase II of Measure X which includes projects for:

PHASE II 
• 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 most current information about our Measure X projects can be found on our Measure X Overview page.  Please check back frequently to monitor our progress. 

Sincerely,
Joan Rosas, Ed.D.
Superintendent


Guest Perspective Column submitted to the Foster City Islander - Published on January 18, 2017

January 12, 2017

Dear Members of the Foster City Community,

On behalf of the San Mateo–Foster City School District, I would like to thank members of the Foster City community for their thoughtful and constructive comments at the District’s Community Meetings held in late November about the new elementary school at the Charter Square site.  The new school, which is being funded by Measure X, approved by the voters in 2015, will relieve existing overcrowding and provide additional classroom space for new Foster City enrollees.  Initially, we anticipate enrolling approximately 450 students on a phased-in basis.   It will be built to accommodate 540-600 students. 

As many of you know, our community outreach began in 2014 with an eighteen-month community engagement process used by the District’s Next Steps Committee to develop recommendations on the best options to address overcrowding in Foster City and in several San Mateo schools.  After nearly 100 community meetings and with over 4800 survey responses, the Next Steps Committee recommended that the District acquire the Charter Square site for a fourth elementary school in Foster City.   After the passage of Measure X, we negotiated a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Westlake Urban.

Immediately following the approval of the agreement, we invited the Foster City community to participate in Community Meetings held in Foster City.  Approximately 120 people attended the meetings held in November 2016 where information was provided about the new school, the projected timeline and our goal of providing a neighborhood school which would be an asset to the neighborhood and the community.  We also invited comments about the school’s design, locations on the site for the buildings and play areas, and traffic flow and parking.  Our commitment to public participation will continue in this exciting process of designing Foster City’s first new school in nearly 25 years.  

The Agreement provides that the District be the lead agency for the design and approval process, Westlake Urban will provide for the construction of the school and the District will make planned progress payments.  The District will close escrow on the land and the buildings upon completion.  This process, known as an “owner/developer-built school” option is common practice throughout the State and Bay Area.  

In California, school construction and modernization are governed by rigorous State codes and regulations. This project will be reviewed and overseen by two entities — the California Department of Education and the California Division of the State Architect.  The latter Division (DSA) is responsible for the review and approval of both school 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).  Our agreement with Westlake provides that the project is constructed using prevailing wages and that the general contractor have at least ten years of experience in school construction. 

We appreciate the Foster City community’s support in the District’s efforts to achieve a goal of the community in passing Measure X — to provide a 4th elementary school located at Charter Square to relieve overcrowding and accommodate future enrollments.  If you have questions, would like to provide additional input or be notified of future community meetings, please email us at newschool@smfcsd.net. We also invite you to visit our website (www.smfcsd.net/new-foster-city-school) for project updates, information on future Community Meetings and answers to questions that have been raised.  

Sincerely,
Joan Rosas, Ed.D.
Superintendent
San Mateo-Foster City School District


Project Background

We are pleased to announce that on Thursday, November 3, 2016 the School Board of Trustees unanimously approved an agreement to purchase a fourth elementary school in Foster City on the Charter Square Shopping Center site.

Community members clearly expressed their desire to see an additional elementary school built in Foster City by supporting the Measure X facilities bond, which passed last November.  The District’s acquisition of a fourth school will provide additional classroom space to address anticipated increased enrollment at the District’s existing Foster City school campuses.  The new campus site is located on the corner of Beach Park and Shell Boulevards – a prime location to add an elementary school.

In February 2016 the District sold bonds to begin its Measure X Phase I construction projects.  Phase I projects included the acquisition of land and the building of an elementary school in Foster City and the construction of new gyms and classrooms at Abbott and Borel Middle Schools and a new gym at the Bayside STEM Academy.

We appreciate the generous support of our community and are excited to move on to the next stage of planning and engagement for the design of the new school.

 

If you have additional questions about the school or construction, please send an email to newschool@smfcsd.net.