The effort to bring a new elementary school to the Dougherty Valley took a significant step forward Tuesday night.
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a site-transfer and site-preparation agreement with developer Shapell Industries, which offered to donate 7.9 acres for a campus and park facilities in the area.
"We're ready to move forward with the dedication of the new school site, so that we can actually start closing escrow and getting through (state agency approvals)," Gary Black, SRVUSD assistant superintendent, said during the board meeting in Danville.
The agreement lays out the terms for the donation and outlines construction activities required of Shapell, which includes grading, utilities, building retaining walls and making improvements for the sports fields.
The deal also stipulates that the developer could receive some reimbursement from the district for the site value and certain construction costs should the district ever retroactively receive state funds for the project.
The district is required to pay all costs related to the actual building of the new school. Current estimates have campus construction costing $29.6 million, to be funded through Measure D.
SRVUSD officials did not address the construction timeline during the board meeting, but in April they projected the new school could be completed by fall 2015.
The additional campus could prove vital for the district, which expects to see continued growth in its student population over the next seven years -- as board members learned earlier Tuesday evening.
Christy Jacobs, representing Davis Demographics & Planning, Inc., presented to the board the results of her firm's recent SRVUSD enrollment projection study, which district officials plan to use when developing strategies for future facility and staffing needs.
The company's first set of projections anticipated district-wide enrollment increasing from 31,377 students this year to nearly 32,800 by 2020, with a high of almost 32,840 in 2019. Those figures incorporated impacts such as birth rates and currently proposed new development.
The second projections -- which also included mobility factors to try to account for potential movement in and out of the district -- showed more drastic gains.
With mobility factors in play, the study estimated the district's student population would climb to about 36,765 by 2020 -- a 17-percent increase. Every SRVUSD middle school and high school, as well as almost every elementary school, would see a rise in enrollment at some point during the next seven years, under those projections.
"These numbers are telling us we have a horrendous problem to deal with, in terms of overcrowding," board clerk Greg Marvel said.
Staff anticipates presenting an action plan based on the projections during a board meeting in February.
In other business, San Ramon's Hidden Hills Elementary School will soon have a new principal, with the board voting unanimously to hire Melodie Stibich to fill the position. The district has not announced a start date for Stibich, who is currently principal of Jensen Ranch Elementary School in Castro Valley.
Resolutions were approved to support African-American History Month (February), No Name-Calling Awareness Week (Feb. 3-7) and National School Counseling Week (Feb. 3-7).
The board voted to lay off two part-time Bollinger Canyon Elementary School employees, a primary intervention paraeducator and a senior primary intervention paraeducator, because external funding ran out for the positions, which combined to represent 33.5 hours per week.
Board members reviewed proposed amendments to board policies pertaining to district personnel on the topics of concepts and roles, oath or affirmation of allegiance and child-abuse reporting.
SRVUSD staff recommends the changes to clean up language, reflect current laws and align the policies with California School Boards Association models. The three policies hadn't been revised since 1995.
The board is set to consider final approval of the revisions during its Jan. 28 meeting.
Members also discussed board policy revisions and a new administrative regulation for its Special Education Local Plan Area. The policy needs updating to reflect the SRVUSD becoming a single-district SELPA in 2007 and to incorporate changes in the law covering the issue, staff said.
A final vote is due at a future board meeting.