http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/02/01/when-it-comes-to-numbers-pleasanton-council-school-board-excel


Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 1, 2013

When it comes to numbers, Pleasanton Council, school board 'Excel'

2-hour joint meeting gives both agencies chance to review housing, enrollment, growth issues

by Jeb Bing

If you like numbers, you should have been at last Monday's joint meeting of the Pleasanton City Council and the Pleasanton school board.

Charts, slides and print-outs from both agencies read at times like an Excel spreadsheet gone wild. Consider these:

* $500,000,000 -- Estimated cost of upgrading, expanding or building new facilities to meet the needs of Pleasanton school students over the next 20 years or so.

* 3,253 -- Total number of high density, multifamily housing units to be built on now-rezoned properties in Pleasanton in the next few years.

* 80,000 -- Estimated population of Pleasanton when these new units are completed, compared to 70,000 today.

* 15,000 -- Number of students now enrolled in Pleasanton schools, including 53.28% whites, 34.36% Asians, 9.29% Latinos, 2.43% blacks, and 0.65% Native Americans.

* 97.5% -- graduation rate and school attendance rate for Pleasanton high schools last year.

* 915 -- Academic Performance Index (API) for Pleasanton schools in 2012, compared to 779 for California as a whole.

* 1,100 acres -- Total area of land and lakes being considered for development by 19-member East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force in coming year, including approximately 700 acres consisting of lakes under control of Zone 7 regional water agency.

* $6 billion -- Estimated amount for kindergarten through senior year of high school to be provided by Proposition 30, which was approved by California voters in November.

* 0 -- Amount of new revenue to become available to Pleasanton school district from new taxes imposed by Prop. 30.

* 26 -- Number of meetings held to consider school district's Facilities Master Plan, including joint meeting with City Council Jan. 28 and regular school board meeting Jan. 29 when plan was approved.

* 36% -- Response rate of Pleasanton teachers to survey about Facilities Master Plan.

* 170-368 -- Demographer's estimate of added students over current enrollment at Pleasanton middle schools and high schools over next 10 years, respectively.

* 600-700 -- Preferred student enrollment in Pleasanton elementary schools.

* 900 -- Planned enrollment in newly approved Dublin elementary school to serve that city's east side population.

* $13,486,595 -- Cost of technology upgrades, new classrooms, building system upgrades, new construction considered immediate needs by Pleasanton school district according to Facilities Master Plan.

* 2,058 -- Additional housing units required by state and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) for Pleasanton in regional housing needs assessment for 2014-2022 time period.

At the Monday night meeting, City Manager Nelson Fialho, Mayor Jerry Thorne and City Council members Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin reviewed with the school board major residential building projects under way or nearing approval that could mean more students for the district.

Most of these new developments are being approved in accordance with state planning and zoning law, which requires each city and county in the Bay Area to address its share of regional housing needs. For Pleasanton, the rush to rezone 73 acres for new high density housing is also consistent with a settlement agreement reached with Urban Habitat, an Oakland-based affordable housing coalition, which successfully sought a court order ending the city's 1996 voter-approved 29,000 housing unit cap. It's that cap that school district demographers used earlier to project student growth in the coming years.

Fialho said the 73 rezoned acres consist of nine sites where multifamily apartments could be built. Although the city rezoned the sites, it will be up to developers to seek permits to develop them. He said current projections are for at least 1,600 of the 2,300 additional housing units to be built within the next five years.

Already approved and likely to be built starting this year are two-, three- and four-story buildings by BRE, a national affordable housing developer, in Hacienda Business Park. Apartment buildings in the first two sites will have 500 units in one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Geared to accommodate low-to-moderate income tenants, it's unclear how many school-age children will be among those moving in, but it's also likely those that do will be youngsters in the preschool and elementary school age groups.

School Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi noted that there is no elementary school in Hacienda, although Steve Newsom of LPA, the consulting firm on the facilities plan, said consideration could be given to expanding Hart Middle School, which is located in the business park, into a kindergarten-through-eighth grade school.

Other developments nearing approval also lack nearby schools, including more than 1,000 multi-family units that are planned near the West BART station, Kaiser's IT center, on West Las Positas Boulevard, and at Bernal Avenue and Stanley Boulevard, across from McDonald's.

"Things are starting to happen on these sites," said Brian Dolan, Community Development Director. "To no one's surprise, there's been a fair amount of interest in building in Pleasanton."

Another affordable housing project that could get under way later this year is on land owned by South Bay Construction next to the new Safeway Gateway Center at Bernal and Valley Avenue, across from the Fairgrounds. That site has been approved for 210 apartments and 88 single family homes with children in those sites in the Hearst Elementary School and Pleasanton Middle School attendance areas.

LPA's Newsom said the new Facilities Master Plan will replace one that was approved more than 10 years ago when population and school enrollment projects were much different than today's numbers.

In developing the new plan, Newsom said his firm considered the latest demographic projections, which included the 73 rezoned acres for affordable housing, and also existing school sites, financial requirements and the district's desired education standards.

"We walked through every school site and we met with various groups, including teachers and students, more than 500 individuals in all."

As the meeting closed, school board members praised city leaders for their support of Pleasanton schools and the school district.

"We're blessed with great leadership and teachers in Pleasanton and I thank our city partners in offering their help we need to keep our schools the best," said school board member Chris Grant.

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