On Monday, February 2nd the Fremont Unified School District Board and the Fremont City Council held a joint meeting to discuss issues relevant to both organizations. Of course, the main issue of concern is what developments the City is approving and how these are affecting the ability of the School District to accommodate all of the resulting students.
On the bright side, the major developments planned near the future Warm Springs BART station, which include nearly 4,000 homes, should be able to be accommodated by the new school that is planned as a part of the development. I asked the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Morris, about the student generation rates they expect from the development. The District’s demographer believes that a 750 student elementary school would suffice. The District is asking that the main facilities at the school (cafeteria, gymnasium, etc.) all be designed for 1,100 students in case the school does have to expand its capacity.
It was hinted at that people should take notice that some developers are offering to pay more than the standard fees to resolve the overcrowding issues that their developments are creating.
I asked about how Measure E money was being used to increase capacity. I was glad to hear that there were efforts underway in this funding cycle that would provide additional classrooms at four schools, the most being at Warm Springs Elementary. These will help alleviate some of the overcrowding that already exists.
The problem areas include the Artist Walk development on Fremont Blvd. south of Thornton. The default elementary school for this area would be Parkmont but that is already overcrowded. Thus, the District is still unclear where these students might go. Another problem is the potential 700 unit development near Walnut and Guardino. It’s also unclear where students from this development would go.
I also asked about Patterson Ranch. Dr. Morris noted this is still an unresolved issue. Grading has been completed on this 500 unit development but there is still no assigned school for it. The nearby Forest Park and Ardenwood schools are already quite overcrowded. Being ‘unassigned’ means that students from this development could be assigned to any school in the District even as far away as Niles or Warm Springs. Dr. Morris noted that two siblings from this development might not even be able to get into the same school.