•Will this new school be designed (building-wise) to continue the district's long-vaunted "small school" model, as are all the existing elementary schools? Besides equal treatment for local residents, this decision has impact on the free time and outdoor space for any public park at the school.
•At each existing public school, MVWSD or LASD, there is space set aside for an independent after-school program operator. In LASD this means room for a separate indoor space equal to 10 to 15 percent of the size of the school's own program. Will that be true at the 10th school as well?
•In making the decision about whether the area involved will have a local neighborhood school, will the district property weight the input of that portion of the population, those with kids as well as others living in the area? Will there be consideration for the concerns of the new housing being developed there? After all, there are no such housing units at present, but the addition of these future new neighbors is the reason the district gave for adding land there in the first place.
•In designing this school, will space be added to provide indoor corridors, to replace the outdoor covered sidewalks that provide corridors in the other schools of the district? It seems that space and noise concerns will eliminate the spread-out garden design favored up to now. Even with extra indoor space, this can condense the school onto more land, but allowing for corridor space is important.
•Will teacher and visitor parking be underground? Will there be sufficient drop-off space? Many of the existing district schools overflow onto the street at drop-off time. This seems highly impractical in the new spot. The City Council was told that park space would be maximized. What does this mean for school parking and drop off?
These are questions that need answers before convening a committee to consider the options. Four years ago, the district was undergoing a public process to examine issues like this and create a facilities master plan. Unfortunately, six months later, this process was suspended with only a brief interim report, and no real answers, let alone the promised facilities master plan.
David Roode is a Los Altos resident.
This story contains 469 words.
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