The San Ramon Valley Unified School District's Board of Education recently approved the preliminary design for a new elementary school in Dougherty Valley The new school is funded through Measure D, the $260 million school facilities bond passed in November 2012, and a partnership with Shapell Homes.
"We are very excited to already have a preliminary design for this school," said Superintendent Mary Shelton. "Thanks to the generosity of our community and a unique partnership with the city of San Ramon and Shapell Homes, we can continue to move forward with our plans to help alleviate the enrollment crunch that exists in the Dougherty Valley while also providing a state-of-the-art elementary school in a beautiful neighborhood setting."
The new school is projected to open in fall 2015 and will be housed on a 7.4 acre site located approximately one half-mile southwest of the Dougherty Station Community Center and Library. The site is currently undeveloped and adjacent to a future 30-acre community park; Shapell Homes donated the land to SRVUSD last March with the understanding that play fields will also serve as a permanent park for the city like other schools.
"This school is being designed and built with the same high standards that we have come to enjoy with all of our new schools in the Dougherty Valley community," said Gary Black, assistant superintendent for facilities and maintenance.
Designed by Quattrocchi Kwok Architects, the school will feature two two-story classroom buildings, a comprehensive multi-use building and a large playfield equipped for soccer and softball. The Measure D projects list budgets the new school at $29.4 million.
The as-yet unnamed elementary will accommodate approximately 830 kindergarten through 5th grade students. Officials expect the school to help alleviate the enrollment crunch at Dougherty Valley's four existing elementary schools, three of which house over 1,000 students in buildings meant for 900.
SRVUSD's student population crested 30,000 this year and officials expect the district to grow by 500 to 800 students over the next 3 to 5 years. Ultimately, the district hopes to reduce the number of families being diverted away from their neighborhood schools, as families from the Live Oak and Hidden Hills school areas have been.
The district had previously discussed jointly operating a multi-use facility with the city that could be used as an auxiliary school, but ultimately decided that a new elementary campus would be a better solution.
"We think this is in the best interest of the community, particularly as the homes in that area continue to be developed. As needs change, I suppose we will have to look at the existing facilities we have, the purposes they serve and adjust as the situation calls for," Community Relations Coordinator Terry Koehne told the Express last year.
Koehne added that the school district recognizes a need to expand Dougherty Valley High School, but said the most immediate need was for additional elementary space.
The next steps include submitting the design plans to the California Department of Education and California Division of State Architect.