Fairmeadow groundbreaking expected in January

New, two-story classroom building will accommodate fourth and fifth graders

Construction is expected to begin in January on a new, two-story classroom building at Fairmeadow Elementary School.

The Board of Education Tuesday authorized solicitation of bids for the $6.3 million project, which will modernize and increase capacity at the campus on East Meadow Drive.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students are expected to move into the new eight-classroom building, situated along the west side of campus, during spring break of 2013, school officials said.

The move will free up space that will be renovated for kindergarten classes.

The project also involves an addition to the library and a "natural play area" for children.

At the end of construction, three portable classrooms currently in use will be moved off the site, officials said.

Principal Gary Prehn said the construction will make it easier to group classrooms by grade level, facilitating teacher collaboration.

As for feedback from parents, he said, "They just want to know when it's starting and that the kids be safe."

Architects on the project are Gelfand Partners, a San Francisco firm specializing in sustainable school design.

Funding of the Fairmeadow project comes from Measure A, a $378 million facilities bond backed by more than 77 percent of district voters in June 2008. The bond was intended to construct new classrooms and renovate aging facilities.

A similar two-story classroom building, also funded by the bond and designed by Gelfand, is near completion at Ohlone School.

Fairmeadow is currently the fourth highest enrolled of the district's 12 elementary schools, with 504 children attending this fall. Ohlone has the highest headcount, with 583. Barron Park has the lowest, with 317.

Chris Kenrick


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

Such a shame turning Fairmeadow into a mega school, particularly since it is situated right beside a middle school, when the district owns Greendell and could consider reopening it. Young fives could be moved to Ventura or housed on Cubberley campus.

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