Two-story buildings for Las Lomitas School District? | December 12, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Schools - December 12, 2012

Two-story buildings for Las Lomitas School District?

by Barbara Wood

A plan to allow the Las Lomitas Elementary School District to serve the ever-growing number of students in the district's two schools, possibly in new two-story school buildings, will be discussed at a meeting of the district's governing board at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the La Entrada Middle School multi-use room, 2200 Sharon Road in Menlo Park.

According to Carolyn Chow, the district's chief business officer, the district has been working to develop an updated facilities master plan since summer, when a construction firm analyzed the district's facilities.

Two new board members, Diane Honda and Bill Steinmetz, are joining the board, replacing Maria Doktorczyk and John Macdonald, who did not run for re-election. "We'd like to bring them up to speed," Ms. Chow said.

Enrollment in the K-8 district has surged 40 percent in 10 years, Ms. Chow said. In 2009 the district received a report that projected enrollment in the two-school district would increase to 1,384 students by the 2014-15 school year. But this year it is already at 1,419.

The district's temporary solution has been portable classrooms. "That clearly isn't going to be the answer for the long term," Ms. Chow said.

"We have come up with some nice ideas for two-story buildings," which could provide for more classrooms, but don't take up more green space or playing space, Ms. Chow said. "That's kind of the key thing that we've been looking at."

Ms. Chow said the space in the new buildings would be flexible so that a classroom or lab used for one purpose now could be used for a different purpose in the future. "This is a plan not for five or 10 years, it's for the very long term," she said.

So far reaction to the facilities plan has been positive, Ms. Chow said. Those attending a town hall meeting on Nov. 27 "were highly complimentary" of the idea of two-story buildings, she said.

The public will have another chance to learn about the facilities master plan at a board study session on Jan. 9, Ms. Chow said, and the board will probably approve a plan at its regular January meeting.

Visit to see the agenda.