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Dear San Mateo-Foster City Community Members,Demolition Day - New Foster City School

I am happy to report that demolition activity is proceeding on the former Charter Square Shopping Center property.  If you have not been by the site at Beach Park and Shell Boulevards, the buildings have been removed and the building debris has been hauled off the site.  During the next few weeks, the removal of the asphalt and concrete and the work required by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on a small part of the site will continue.  All of this work is being done under the leadership of Westlake Urban, the current owner of the site.

Once the site is graded, Westlake Urban will transfer ownership of the property to the School District.  As I reported in November, this transfer of ownership prior to construction of the school is being done pursuant to an option, not available previously, provided by Westlake Urban last October in recognition of the increasing costs of construction throughout the Bay Area.  The District’s Board of Trustees decided to choose this option and publicly bid the construction of the school.

This option will result in the District acquiring the property together with the design and all construction documents for the original agreed upon price of $30.1m. and the cost of the work done to date including the design of the school, technical studies, State, regional and local approvals, and the site demolition, remediation and grading. 

The District has completed the process for pre-qualification of General Contractors and major subcontractors interested in the project.   The documents for the District to bid the construction were released last week.  The bid opening is planned for May 2019 with a recommendation to be presented to the District’s Board of Trustees in May.  If the project is within the District’s planned budget, construction is anticipated to start in early summer and projected to last, dependent on weather, for about eighteen months with occupancy projected during the 2020-2021 school year.  A more detailed listing of completed and future actions is listed below.

Joan Rosas, Ed.D.

Major Milestones As of March 30, 2019


  • School Conveyance Agreement (SCA) Signed - November 2016
  • First of 13 Community Meetings Started - November 2016
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Analysis Begun - Spring 2017
  • City of Foster City Convenes Ad Hoc Committee - May 2017
  • Education Specifications Work Completed - June 2017
  • Conceptual Design Completed/DSA Drawings Begun - Summer 2017
  • SCA Amendment 1 Approval - September 2017
  • Division of State Architect (DSA) Submission - November 2017
  • California Geologic Survey Approval - December 2017
  • Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) Submitted - December 2017
  • Environmental Impact Report (CEQA) Certified by the Board - January 2018
  • Applications for Site Approval and Project Approval Submitted to the California Department of Education - January-February 2018
  • DTSC Approval of PEA and development of Removal Action Workplan begun - February 2018
  • Asbestos Removal Completed - May 2018
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Foster City and SMFCSD approved - June 2018
  • California Department of Education Approval of School and Site Applications - July 2018
  • Community Meeting on Construction Activities, Schedule and Contacts Held - July 2018
  • Division of State Architects (DSA) Approval - August 2018
  • Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Approval of the Removal Action Workplan (RAW) - August 2018
  • Additional Testing for DTSC Completed - August-September 2018
  • PG&E Power turn-off/removal Completed - September - October 2018
  • Approval of Amendment to School Conveyance Agreement (SCA) which provided new option to purchase property only - October 2018
  • Revised/updated Costs Information - November 2018
  • Board of Trustees Decision to Buy Property after Site Demolition - November 2018
  • Beginning of Demolition and Grading Work by Westlake-Urban - January 2019
  • Beginning of Implementation of approved DTSC Removal Action Workplan (RAW) - March 2019
  • Interval Testing per the DTSC Removal Action Plan - 30 days for 6 months to a year
  • Prequalification Process for General Contractor and Primary Subcontractors - February-March 2019
  • Requests for Bids - March 2019

Looking Ahead

  • Submission of Bids - May 2019
  • Board of Trustees Consideration of Bids (budget dependent) - May-June 2019
  • Projected Start of Construction if Bid is Awarded - July 2019
  • Anticipated Completion of Construction - Late fall 2020*
  • Certification of Occupancy - Late fall 2020*
  • Planned Occupancy - During the 2020-2021 School Year*


July 2018 Board Presentation

Click here to view the Presentation from the July 24, 2018 Community Meeting

New FC School ImageNew School in Foster City Rendering

July 2018 Measure X Update

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:


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.

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:


  • 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. 

Joan Rosas, Ed.D.

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