News

District debuts designs for Garland

Construction slated to begin November 2010; proposed plans include two-story classroom wing

The Palo Alto school district unveiled plans for Garland Elementary School Tuesday night, including a two-story, 15-classroom wing, a new multi-purpose room, library and renovated administration building. (View the plans) (PDF)

Construction of the $22.5 million project at the campus on North California Avenue is expected to begin November 2010 and be completed by March 2012, according to staff.

The district is reopening Garland, currently occupied by the private Stratford School, to make room for a growing number of students district-wide.

The plans took into account feedback given at three previous community meetings, staff said. The 20-foot-high wing would be placed behind another wing of classrooms, and not near neighboring homes, according to representatives of AEDIS Architecture, which has been contracted by the city. The library and 26-foot-high multipurpose room are planned for the front of the school, next to the administration building. There would be room for 52 parking spaces.

Staff also presented a second option, placing the multipurpose room behind the new classroom wing and next to adjacent Jordan Middle School. The staff, however, expressed concern that the building would be too far away from the administration building and would not be as accessible and safe during after-school hours.

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More than a dozen neighbors attended the meeting, and several spoke to the board about the new site plans.

Resident David Lichtenger and a few others questioned the necessity of enrolling as many as 480 students at Garland. Lichtenger was also concerned about noise pollution and the location of the library and multipurpose room.

Garland neighbor Manu Kumar agreed.

"I do worry about having 480 students at the Garland site, especially with the (935) students already at the Jordan site. That's a lot of students coming into the neighborhood," Kumar said. "I'm very sensitive to the noise issues of the schools. Having the fields right in our backyards, we deal with back noise all the time."

Resident Janette Tavs suggested that the property line at Garland be moved back to take up some of Jordan's field space.

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Resident Erin Mershon asked the district to take into account how the community might use Garland outside of school hours.

Staff Writer Emilie Doolittle can be e-mailed at [email protected]

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District debuts designs for Garland

Construction slated to begin November 2010; proposed plans include two-story classroom wing

by Emilie Doolittle / Palo Alto Online

Uploaded: Wed, Feb 11, 2009, 4:43 pm
Updated: Thu, Feb 12, 2009, 10:58 am

The Palo Alto school district unveiled plans for Garland Elementary School Tuesday night, including a two-story, 15-classroom wing, a new multi-purpose room, library and renovated administration building. (View the plans) (PDF)

Construction of the $22.5 million project at the campus on North California Avenue is expected to begin November 2010 and be completed by March 2012, according to staff.

The district is reopening Garland, currently occupied by the private Stratford School, to make room for a growing number of students district-wide.

The plans took into account feedback given at three previous community meetings, staff said. The 20-foot-high wing would be placed behind another wing of classrooms, and not near neighboring homes, according to representatives of AEDIS Architecture, which has been contracted by the city. The library and 26-foot-high multipurpose room are planned for the front of the school, next to the administration building. There would be room for 52 parking spaces.

Staff also presented a second option, placing the multipurpose room behind the new classroom wing and next to adjacent Jordan Middle School. The staff, however, expressed concern that the building would be too far away from the administration building and would not be as accessible and safe during after-school hours.

More than a dozen neighbors attended the meeting, and several spoke to the board about the new site plans.

Resident David Lichtenger and a few others questioned the necessity of enrolling as many as 480 students at Garland. Lichtenger was also concerned about noise pollution and the location of the library and multipurpose room.

Garland neighbor Manu Kumar agreed.

"I do worry about having 480 students at the Garland site, especially with the (935) students already at the Jordan site. That's a lot of students coming into the neighborhood," Kumar said. "I'm very sensitive to the noise issues of the schools. Having the fields right in our backyards, we deal with back noise all the time."

Resident Janette Tavs suggested that the property line at Garland be moved back to take up some of Jordan's field space.

Resident Erin Mershon asked the district to take into account how the community might use Garland outside of school hours.

Staff Writer Emilie Doolittle can be e-mailed at [email protected]

Comments

Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Although many of us knew about Garland being reopened, I think it is true to say that none of us were expecting this to be such a big school. Suffice it to say that the BoE, in its wisdom, at the end of the AAAGs more than 12 months deliberation and conclusion of opening a 13th elementary, they, the BoE, thought it was not necessary to do so. Now, it seems, that just a couple of years later they have decided that the AAAG was right and not only do we need a 13th elementary school, but we need a four strand, two storey, campus.

I can understand the local residents being worried about traffic problems, particularly as many of the students will be coming from across Oregon which makes it more likely that the school will be more like a commuter school than a neighborhood school.

I can also understand why the Garland residents worry about traffic as many of these students will be dropped off at the back entrance in their neighborhood due to it being safer than the front of the school on California.

I can also understand all the issues related to parking and traffic at the front of the school, and along Barbara in particular.

What I fail to understand however, is the noise and use of the MP Room issue. It seems short sighted to build a new MP room and then not have it available for community use. Community space for meetings and in particular basketball during the winter season is very tight in Palo Alto. Arguing that there are outside basketball courts to help is not on as basketball leagues take place in the winter when practicing outside can't be done after dark without floodlightsin the early evenings and in wet weather.

Moving near a school means that local residents will be affected by school activities. That is a given. Schools are not only used at school times, but at evenings and weekends. We do not live in areas like San Jose where the school campuses are locked as soon as school activities end so that the locals can use them for evening and weekend activities. Our schools are community assets and all of us should be able to use the amenities they provide.

The size of the campus in my mind makes a 4 strand school a bit crowded. The idea that this school should become the gem of Palo Alto schools makes it very unfair for those who do not attend it.

Rather than having this school so big, was it ever discussed that it should be a regular 3 strand school and the Greendell campus also reopened to become another 3 strand school taking perhaps some more space from Cubberley so that the Young 5s could also expand along with Preschool Families.

Cubberley is an underutilised site by the school district. It does get income from letting out space, but at what cost to the children in our schools. Using some of the Cubberley space to house a school along with the Greendell site, when the JCC vacates, seems to make a great deal of sense to me.


paly parent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm
paly parent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I think the design looks great, it keeps the 2 story structures away from residents without looming over the street.

A couple questions - how many students are currently at the Stratford School and how large is the Garland school acreage compared to other PAUSD elementary schools?

BTW - I believe the City owns the Jordan field, not PAUSD, so property lines are not easy to move.


Erin
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm
Erin, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm

I don't know the acreage but it's somewhere in the middle. Bigger than Addison, another 4 strand/480 student school.

PAUSD does own the Jordan field but as the Superintendent said at the board meeting, they would just be taking from one school to give to another.


G Hancock
another community
on May 21, 2012 at 8:57 am
G Hancock, another community
on May 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

Saw this by accident. I grew up on Garland Drive and was at the original school k-6. The school was totally wonderful, I never heard my parents complain and the chance to walk your kids to school or drive them half a block far outweighed the negatives. You're getting a great amenity! Use it well.


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