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.
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 be 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Joan Rosas, Ed.D.
San Mateo-Foster City School District
If you have additional questions about the school or construction, please send an email to email@example.com.