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. The District will hold Community Information Meetings to engage community members, parents and staff in the design of the new school. These meetings will be held from 7:00-8:00 pm on the following dates:
- Wednesday, November 16 at Audubon Elementary School – 841 Gull Avenue, Foster City
- Tuesday, November 29 at Foster City Elementary School – 461 Beach Park Blvd, Foster City
- Wednesday, November 30 at the SMFCSD District Office – 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City
Responses to FREQUENTLY ASKED Questions (FAQs) About the New Elementary School in Foster City
The School District desires to keep Foster City families, staff and community informed about the new school. The following are the first set of questions and answers provided below. Answers will be provided for other questions of interest to the community as they are received.
Questions Regarding Construction:
1. When will construction start? The projected timeline for the start of construction is January 2018 after approval is received from the Division of the State Architect (DSA) which is responsible by law for reviewing and approving all public school building and renovation plans in California.
2. When will the school be finished? The construction is anticipated to take 14 months with a projected completion date of the end of February 2019.
3. What is the timeline? The projected timeline is:
- By March 2017 - Schematic design and studies completed
- By mid-April 2017 - California Department of Education (CDE) review completed
- Beg of June 2017 - Construction documents submitted to the California Division of the State Architect (DSA) for review and approval
- End of June 2017 - Anticipated completion of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review
- End of November 2017 - Anticipated date for DSA final approval
- December 2017 - Site demolition
- January 2018 - Construction expected to begin
- End of February 2019 - Construction anticipated to be complete based on approvals and other milestones being met
4. What is the price? The negotiated price is $61 million for the site and the school.
5. How will the District pay for it? The funds to purchase the site and school will come from a combination of the voter-authorized bond measures (Measures L and X) for new school facilities in Foster City and San Mateo.Questions Regarding the School:
6. Is a 4th school still needed in Foster City? Yes, the number of elementary-aged students in Foster City who attend one of Foster City’s three elementary schools has increased by 24% since 2005. The enrollment at each school is above 650 and much greater than what the school facilities were designed - enrollment is currently 748 at Audubon, 665 at Brewer Island and 874 at Foster City.
7. What will be the enrollment at the new Foster City School? The District will be considering a possible phase-in enrollment process to not disrupt families with older students currently enrolled in one of the other Foster City elementary schools. The total capacity of the school will be 540-600 students.
8. What facilities will the school have? The new school will have all the facilities and support areas found in the other schools in SMFCSD including classrooms, a multipurpose room, a library/lab, space for the Children’s Annex before and after school program, an administration building including a staff room and first aid room, lunch prep and eating areas, playgrounds, parking area, and a designated route and area for student pick up and drop off
9. How will boundaries for the school be decided and when? The District’s first priority is to meet the expectations established with the successful passage of Measure X: to get the school designed and built. Decisions about boundaries will be made during the 2017-18 school year before the registration process opens for all schools in the District. This timing will also provide the District with greater knowledge about where families with elementary-aged children will be living as new Foster City housing developments are completed or are closer to completion.
10. What grades will the school have? The school will be constructed to have the same grade levels as the other Foster City Schools - Transitional Kindergarten (TK) - 5th grade.
11. How will the District deal with traffic created by the school? A great deal of planning will go into the design of the new school to maximize on-site school drop off/pick-up lanes for those students who will not be walking to school, as in any neighborhood school. Once open, the design will be augmented by other best practices to increase student safety during drop off and pick-up and minimize impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
Questions Regarding the Tenants of Charter Square: The District has asked Westlake Realty, which has the leases with the tenants, to respond to questions about the tenants. Westlake Realty's responses to each question are below.
12. What will happen to the tenants at Charter Square? Westlake Realty, the owner of Charter Square, is responsible for the tenants and continues to work with them. Westlake Realty will continue to honor its contractual relationship with its tenants and will work with each on an individual basis in their relocation effort.
13. What will happen to the Post Office? Westlake Realty is working with the US Post Office which has advised Westlake that it plans to relocate within Zip Code 94404.
14. What about the Foster City Preschool located at Charter Square? Westlake Realty will be working in good faith with both the District and the owner of the Foster City Preschool. The Preschool educates future SMFCSD students. The District may under State law be able to lease space to the Preschool as it is a compatible use.
If you have additional questions about the Tenants of Charter Square, please contact Westlake Urban - firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have additional questions about the school or construction, please send an email to email@example.com.