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New FC School ImageNew School in Foster City Rendering

June 7, 2019 - SMFCSD Awards Bid for the Construction of a New School in Foster City       

June 7, 2019 - Foster City - The Board of Trustees of the San Mateo-Foster City School District awarded the bid for the new elementary school in Foster City at its regular Board meeting last night.  The successful bidder was Overaa, a large California construction firm with headquarters in the Bay Area, which specializes in public construction projects including schools.  Overaa submitted the lowest, most responsible and responsive base bid of $29.998 million, which pursuant to California law, resulted in it being the successful bidder.

After title to the property, located at Shell and Beach Park Blvds., is transferred to the District by Westlake Urban, the longtime owner of the property, contract documents will be finalized and construction of the school will begin.  The start of construction is projected to start in July with anticipated completion in early 2021.  Like any construction project, the completion date is weather-dependent.

The base bid is for a school of approximately 425, K-5 students and includes 16 classrooms, a classroom for the District's before and after school fee-based program, a multipurpose room, library/media center, administration building, and smaller rooms for support services.  The total square footage included in the base bid is 36,510. 

After the School Board’s decision, District Superintendent Joan Rosas shared her appreciation of the Board and the community for their, “Ongoing support to reach this important point after many years of seeking a fourth elementary school in Foster City to provide classrooms and support facilities for increased enrollments.”  She noted that the journey to achieve the vision of a fourth school started under previous Boards and Superintendents.  The District’s challenges to date have included:

  • Finding a suitable site in Foster City to build a new school to relieve overcrowding in the current Foster City elementary schools
  • Obtaining voter approval for a new school and the bond funds needed to acquire the property and build a school
  • Addressing the challenges of rising construction costs in the last few years in the Bay Area

The District has scheduled information meetings for parents and interested Foster City community members about the start of construction of the new school.  A Parent Meeting will be held on June 12 at 6:30 pm in the SMFCSD District Office, 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City and a Community Meeting will be held on June 27 6:30 pm in the SMFCSD District Office.

The costs for the purchase of the property, demolition, construction, and associated costs are funded primarily by Measures L and X, bond measures passed by the voters of San Mateo and Foster City in the past decade.  The construction of the new elementary school in Foster City is one of eight projects funded by Measure X.

For more information on the new Foster City school project, please visit our website at



May 2019 - New Elementary School in Foster City Update

San Mateo-Foster City School District Opens Bids for the Construction of a New School in Foster City 

Foster City - San Mateo-Foster City School District officials took another step forward this week in the journey to building a new elementary school in Foster City on the site of the former Charter Square Shopping Center.  District officials, through public contracting code, opened bids for the construction of the new school on Friday, May 10.  There were two bidders who responded to the publicly advertised prequalification and bidding announcement, which began earlier this spring. 

The bids will be evaluated according to State law based on their responsiveness to the details in the District’s request for bids and considered in light of the District’s available resources to fund the project.  It is anticipated that the District’s Board of Trustees will consider the award of bid for the project at either its June 6 or June 20 meeting. 

If the bid is awarded, construction is expected to start in July 2019 and be finished within eighteen months, weather-dependent.  The new school has been planned for 420-600 students in grades K-5.  The initial construction will be for 420 students with 16 classrooms, a multipurpose room, library and media center, room for the District’s before and after school Annex Program, and an administration building.  The school and its exterior features have been designed with broad community input over the last three years to fit with the surrounding neighborhood.  The design, which has been approved by the California Division of State Architect, includes an additional wing of classrooms which can be built at a later time to accommodate further increases in student enrollment in Foster City.

Superintendent Rosas expressed her appreciation, “For all who have worked so hard in a challenging construction environment to provide a school for our students including City of Foster City Officials and staff, the various State agencies involved in the review and approval processes, staff and parents who were members of the Design Committee, Foster City residents who attended one of the 13 Community Meetings held about the project, HMC Architects,  the owners of the Charter Square property, District staff and the Board of Trustees.”  She also extended thanks once again to the voters of San Mateo and Foster City who supported Bond Measures X and L, which are providing funding for the new school. 


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*


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