News

Renovations planned for Duveneck campus

School board to consider 'conceptual' scheme that includes new two-story building

A new two-story classroom building, plus a new kindergarten play area and five new single-story classrooms are proposed to be ready for occupancy at Duveneck Elementary School by January 2014.

The Palo Alto school board tonight (Tuesday) will vote on a "conceptual design" for the proposed $10.56 million project. Money will come from the $378 million "Strong Schools" bond measure passed in 2008, which has or will fund upgrades on all 17 of Palo Alto's public school campuses.

The proposed new building at Duveneck will replace eight portable classrooms -- and add three more classrooms to accommodate future growth. (See image)

It also will reconfigure three existing classrooms into a school library.

Architect Lisa Gelfand told the Board of Education the project will get Duveneck most of the way -- but not all the way -- to being a campus everybody is happy with.

"We looked at the site and found a difficult situation," Gelfand told school board members last month.

"We found a lot of sun, a lot of drainage and portables all over the place. We also found needs that will only be dealt with in a future bond -- an atypical location of a multi-purpose building everybody hates, but will have to wait."

Gelfand said all improvements planned for Phase I will be coordinated with what happens in the future.

"By converting the classrooms into a library, what we do now and in the future is to consolidate the public uses at a hinge or fulcrum of the school, pretty evenly split between the upper and lower grades."

The conceptual design for Duveneck follows seven school site meetings, two traffic safety meetings and one community meeting to discuss the possible changes.

Duveneck parent Sarah Sands, Principal John Lents and reading teacher Margaret Row appeared before the school board last month to advocate for the plan.

Sands said the two-story classroom option "made a big difference.

"With one-story, we were starting to encroach into the yard, which felt pretty uncomfortable to a lot of parents," she said.

Lents said, "We tried to keep in mind the clustering of grade levels and to retain as much green space as possible -- and to move toward a more 'natural play area' rather than all the isolated climbing structures."

The proposal calls for the new two-story wing to be constructed at the east end of campus, holding eight classrooms to accommodate the upper grades.

For kindergartners and first-graders, five new single-story classrooms will be constructed -- with a play space in between.

If the board approves conceptual designs tonight, a timetable calls for more refined, "schematic designs" to be ready by late March, mandatory state review to occur between September and May 2012, and construction to take place from August 2012 to December 2013.

The public session of tonight's school board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of school district headquarters at 25 Churchill Ave.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Need a proper diagram
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm

The picture of the design is hard to read or understand. Is there a more detailed diagram? and one that isn't so small?


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Click on "conceptual design" in the first line of the second paragraph. You'll download a pdf which you can zoom in and see greater detail.

I would guess that the neighbors on the back fences of Duveneck are not going to be the happy ones --- as the plan calls for utilizing the back/fire road for full-access and parking. There will be huge change in the noise level along the fence as cars drive through from Alester all the way around to Channing for the exit...

The neighbors on Alester are probably coming out even as the parking lot on their street will turn into a long (and safe) drop-off zone.


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I like this plan, from what I can tell, but can they speed up the process a bit - seems like there's always construction around here.


Like this comment
Posted by Need a proper diagram
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Thanks Dad. I clicked and zoomed and paged up and down and there isn't anything labelled something like New Building. Perhaps the location will be on the area called Portables?
Reminds me of watching the School Board meetings. So many long useless speeches, so much time on long remarks saying very little, I usually give up and change channels.
They seem incapable of asking a simple question or making a straightforward comment.


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Need a proper diagram -

The new 2 story buildings are the ones farthest to the right and have stairsl at the top of each one.

If you have been to Duveneck, you can see what is existing on the drawings and what is a new building that replaces existing portables.

I particularly like the separate play space bordered by the Kinder and 1st grade classrooms, as the school becomes bigger, keeping the littlest one separate it wonderful.


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Need a proper diagram -

The new 2 story building is the second farthest to the right on the drawing. The 2nd floor of that building is the object farthest to the right that looks like it would be on the other side of the fire road.

If you have been to Duveneck, you can see what is existing on the drawings and what is a new building that replaces existing portables.

I particularly like the separate play space bordered by the Kinder and 1st grade classrooms, as the school becomes bigger, keeping the littlest one separate it wonderful.


Like this comment
Posted by Grandma
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Why does the School District have a new building program for North Palo Alto elementary schools but ignores the over-crowded conditions in South Palo Alto's schools?

It's time to consider re-opening Greendell to eliminate the over-crowding and spend some bond money to improve the deteriorating conditions of the 1950s south Palo Alto elementary schools.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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