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Formal Notice of Public Comment Period and Hearing on the Preliminary Environmental Assessment Report

Formal Notice of Public Comment Period and Hearing on the Preliminary Environmental Assessment Report


The San Mateo-Foster City School District has prepared a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) Report in accordance with Education Code section 17213.1, subdivision (a)(4)(B).  The School District has submitted the PEA Report to DTSC for review and has chosen to make the PEA Report available for public review and comment pursuant to Education Code section 17213.1, subdivision (a)(6)[(A).

Project Designation:

New Elementary School to be built on the Charter Square Shopping Center site
Beach Park and Shell Blvds.
Foster City, California 94404 

Project Location:

The site is the Charter Square Shopping Center located at the intersection of Shell and Beach Park Blvds., Foster City, CA, 94404. The site is approximately 6.03 acres.

Description of Assessment:

  • A Preliminary Environment Assessment (PEA) was completed by PSI, a nationwide environmental consulting and testing company, pursuant to State law to evaluate the possible impact on public health and the environment due to undocumented fill and the practices of former and current tenants at the current shopping center. Soil, soil-vapor, groundwater, and ambient-air samples were collected from numerous borings, soil-vapor points, and ambient-air sampling equipment to evaluate potential primary sources at the site. Additionally, a Human Health Risk Evaluation (HHRE) was completed to provide a health-conservative evaluation of potential risks posed by chemicals at a site.
  • Summary of the results of the PEA: Laboratory results and the HHRE indicated that no additional investigation or remedial activities are warranted for primary sources of possible contaminants: lead-based paint, OCPs, PCBs, and dental operations.   Laboratory results and the HHRE indicated that no additional investigation or remedial activities are warranted for undocumented fill based on the metal concentrations being background conditions and that the TPH-D concentrations detected at the site do not pose a significant threat to human health and the environment.   While the vast majority of the site was found to be below or far below the acceptable level of contaminants, testing in the area of the former dry cleaner yielded results well above acceptable levels of contaminants and are identified for removal.  Laboratory results and the HHRE indicated that remedial activities are warranted for tetrachloroethene impacted soil and soil vapor from the release from the cleaning products used by former dry cleaner.  As such, no further action should be required for future construction of the property, except in the vicinity of the former dry cleaner.

The PEA and Supporting Documents are Available for Review at either:

The Administrative Offices of the San Mateo-Foster City School District
1170 Chess Drive
Foster City, CA 94404 

Foster City Public Library
1000 E Hillsdale Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404 

Or on the District’s Website:

Public Comment Period:

A public comment period for the PEA Report begins on December 20, 2017 through January 22, 2018.  Written comments on the PEA Report will be accepted from December 20, 2017 through January 22, 2018.   Comments should be directed to Carolyn Chow, Chief Business Official, San Mateo-Foster City School District, 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City, CA 94404 OR by email to:

Public Hearing:

A public hearing to discuss the PEA Report will be held on January 11, 2018 at 7:00pm at the San Mateo-Foster City School District’s Administrative Offices, 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City, CA 94404.  Comments on the PEA Report will be accepted during the public hearing.

Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

Final Environmental Impact Report

Date: November 16, 2017

The San Mateo-Foster City School District will hold a public hearing to hear public input regarding the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) including the Response to Comments on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the SMFCSD Board Room - 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City.  


Formal Notice of Public Hearing on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) including the Response to Comments for the New Elementary

SMFCSD Public Hearing on the Adequacy of the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

The San Mateo-Foster City School District will hold a public hearing on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm in the SMFCSD Board Room - 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City.

As of August 2, 2017 a draft is available for review and comment on this website (see links below) or at the SMFCSD Administrative Offices (between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday) 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City.

August 2017
Public Review Draft Environment Impact Report (EIR)
July 2017
Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Report

Notice of Draft EIR Availability Post Card  Notice of Draft EIR postcard 2

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 We also invite you to visit our website ( 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

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