Good News/Bad News
The good news: San Carlos schools are in high demand. The bad news: San Carlos schools are in high demand. The San Carlos School District has been searching for a way to accommodate the escalating need for more space at its schools. The District’s actions are well timed. The amount of people moving to San Carlos specifically for the schools is rising each year. As a realtor, I can tell you that it is, far and away, the number one reason buyer demand in San Carlos is so high.
The First Option
The District is considering a few options. The first option looks at the possibility of adding a single school (K-5) at the Central Middle School campus. The thought is that this one additional school would relieve some of the stress currently being experienced by the other four lower elementary schools, Arundel, Brittan Acres, Heather and White Oaks. However, the District seems to have two primary concerns with this option:
(1) Adding a K-5 at Central would force the District to once again re-zone schools. The SCSD just did this a few years ago and the thought of starting that process all over again would most likely not be a favorable option for the community.
(2) The District feels that any new campus, by its very nature, would have certain technological advantages that would not be shared equally by the rest of the K-5 schools.
The Second Option
The second option appears to be a bit more involved, but it may offer the best long-term solution. This option establishes two new schools in San Carlos at the Central and Tierra Linda campuses. However, these schools would not be K-5, rather they would be 4-5.
This option is attractive to the District for the following reasons:
(1) Arundel, Brittan Acres, Heather and White Oaks would be moved to K-3, thereby freeing up some space at all four schools.
(2) Students throughout the District would benefit from the technology at the new campuses.
(3) It moves the junior high grades back to 6-8.
The Prospective Campuses
Obviously, adding two new schools to pre-existing campuses will come with some careful planning. Here are some of the initial thoughts for the new schools:
Central: The prevailing thought is to build a separate school on the Central campus and take some of the current buildings at Central and add a second story. The District seems to want to keep the middle school separated from the 4-5 school on the campus through a road or some other physical presence that would clearly separate the schools.
Tierra Linda: The prevailing thought at TL is to build another school for Charter (which currently shares the premises with TL) up on the fields behind the school. The District would then move the 4-5 school into the buildings currently being used by Charter.
District Wants Public Input
The District will tell you that everything mentioned above is preliminary in nature and nothing is set in stone. They are planning on doing everything possible to gain public input. Community outreach regarding these improvements will be implemented through public awareness and polling.
In order to put a funding measure on the ballot for November, the District will need to make some decisions by mid-August.
Stay tuned to the San Carlos Blog for more information on this topic as it becomes available.
Here’s an idea… lets build up at the La Mesa property or reopen Laureola or on the old San Carlos High School site. Oh, sorry, none of that’s going to work, huh. Good thing they didn’t sell off the Tierra Linda property when they had the chance.
It’s not ideal either, but what about the thought of building up at Heather and turning that into a K-8 or expand it to take more of the K-4 (or 5). The fields could be built on and Heather is one of the newer schools in the district. Obviously, that opens up sport field issues, but it’s one of the biggest pieces of property the district owns.
Is there any property east of El Camino (or anywhere else in the city) where something new could be built rather than adding to the already crowed spaces? I can’t think of any other than the old Black Mountain property. I wonder if the Medical Foundation would be willing to sell some of their land back. Again, not ideal being near 101, but…
What a mess to have to sort out.