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artist rendering of new Elementary school in Foster City

groundbreaking shovels lined up against wall

people with shovels at groundbreaking


July 2019 - Groundbreaking Held to Herald the Start of Construction of the New Elementary School in Foster City       

July 25, 2019 - Foster City CA - The skies were bright and sunny on July 25, 2019 as members of the District’s Board of Trustees of the San Mateo-Foster City School District held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the District’s new elementary school in Foster City.  The school is the District’s first new school since Brewer Island School in Foster City was built and Fiesta Gardens International School and what is now College Park School in San Mateo were reopened over twenty five years ago.

The Board was joined by previous SMFCSD Board members and the District’s current and past Superintendents, San Mateo County’s Board of Supervisors President Carole Groom, representatives for Assemblymember Kevin Mullin and State Senator Jerry Hill, current and past members of the City Council of Foster City, the current City Manager of Foster City, members of the District’s Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, District staff, and members of the City’s Ad Hoc Educational Facilities Committee.  Also attending were the President of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of Westlake Urban and Chang Income Property from whom the site for the school was purchased, and representatives of HMC Architects who designed the school, Lusardi Construction which was responsible for the site demolition work, and Overaa Construction which is the District’s general contractor  as determined by submission of the lowest most responsible bid for the construction of the school.

Board President Shara Watkins and Foster City Mayor Sam Hindi provided remarks about the journey to the groundbreaking and the excitement shared by all in achieving the goal to construct a new elementary school for Foster City’s increased and increasing enrollments.  Dr. Joan Rosas, Superintendent, and Carolyn Chow, Chief Business Official, made additional comments and acknowledgments.   Guests were entertained by alumnae of Bowditch Middle School’s band program under the direction of David Song, Director of Music. 

The start of construction caps a process by the District over many years to acquire land in built-out Foster City on which to build a fourth elementary school to provide needed classrooms for increased enrollments and to reduce the size of current Foster City schools, two of which are among the largest elementary schools in the School District.  The cost of acquiring the site from Westlake Urban and building the school is being funded by the taxpayers in Foster City and San Mateo after voter approval of Measures L and X.

Construction is expected to last about 18 months.  During the coming months, attendance boundaries for the school will be established and parent meetings will be held about the phase in of enrollments to for the new school.  Foster City’s school community—students, staff and parents—along with community members will be invited to participate in selecting a name for the new school.  

Interested parties are invited to check this page on the District’s website once a month to see construction progress and other information about the new school.  Those who have questions or want further information are encouraged to send an email to

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