News


PUSD finds potential parking fix for Amador Valley lot closure

Up to 300 students and staff could park on campus blacktop, tennis courts

The Pleasanton Unified School District is exploring a possible parking solution for Amador Valley High School while a solar panel structure is being installed in the front parking lot later this year.

During the Board of Trustees' regular meeting on Tuesday night, PUSD staff shared an idea to use some areas and facilities at Amador Valley for temporary parking during construction when classes start again in the fall.

"A more recent idea is possibly parking on the blacktop between the gym and football field and using some of the tennis courts as on-site parking for primarily staff and possibly students," district facilities and construction director Nick Olsen said during a staff presentation that evening.

The Amador Valley parking lot facing Santa Rita Road is slated for reorientation and will lose more than 400 parking spaces for about 4-1/2 months when construction starts in June after school lets out for the summer.

Work is expected to last through October, and neighbors and the Amador Valley community are worried about how a lack of parking will affect their lives during that time. Only about 50 parking spaces for staff will be available on the first day of the 2019-20 school year, according to PUSD.

The idea to use the blacktop area and tennis courts came about as staff looked into using the junior varsity softball field and estimated that the blacktop could potentially accommodate 132 vehicles, according to Olsen.

Around 200 cars could be parked onsite if three tennis courts are used along with the blacktop; six tennis courts and the blacktop could park about 300 vehicles. An estimated $80,000 pricetag would also make refurbishing the tennis courts afterward less expensive than repair costs for the softball field.

Superintendent David Haglund and the trustees liked the idea, but he said the district needs to make sure they can still facilitate games for the girls tennis team at Amador Valley in the fall.

"Whether we're only allowed to use a certain number of tennis courts for this solution depends on whether we can get assistance from the city to use other tennis courts for the girls tournaments," Haglund said. "That's a conversation we have not had yet."

Other ideas like renting space at the Alameda County Fairgrounds parking lot have already been rejected for being too costly and posing liability concerns. Staff are still looking into private busing options and also hiring Bay Area Traffic Solutions to manage traffic.

The city is also considering adding loading and unloading zones on Del Valle and Black avenues.

Expediting construction work was also dismissed by Olsen as "very costly in such a short construction window and would only knock off about two weeks from the final completion date."

Families and neighbors have suggested delaying the project until next year, but Olsen said the district "would need to return approximately $1.14 million in Proposition 39 funds and miss out on savings from the project." PUSD would also owe payment for several contractors and consultants working on the project, and another school would also be affected.

"In order to do HVAC replacement at Pleasanton Middle School, we have to pair it with a more energy efficient project, which is solar," Olsen said, adding that the HVAC and solar panels "balanced out" to the state's energy ratio requirements for receiving the Prop 39 funds.

Trustee Mark Miller came to the meeting ready to recommend canceling the project but said he had second thoughts when Olsen mentioned the HVAC tie-in. "I'm tepid on this right now because it is just really, really a burden on this community," Miller said. "I want to be green but, man, this is hard."

Board President Valerie Arkin and Trustee Joan Laursen agreed that abandoning the project over short-term parking problems seemed short-sighted. Arkin and Laursen said they hope parents and students will consider walking, biking or carpooling to school until construction is done.

"It might not be the most convenient option for parents but it is only for two months," Arkin said. "We have some viable alternatives for kids to consider. Hopefully more kids will walk, more kids will bike and more kids will carpool. And that's better for the environment to begin with."

Students could also play an important part in persuading each other to find other ways to school besides driving.

"I'm hoping the leadership of students on campus will provide that little bit of peer pressure that will say ... 'We're doing our part for the good of the school,'" Laursen said. "I'm hoping there's going to be some of that energy among the peers. That will help ease the pain for the two months."

The district estimates that approximately $1.8 million in energy costs will be saved over the 25-year lifespan of the solar panel structure, while also enhancing pedestrian safety, providing covered parking and reducing the school's carbon footprint.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

24 people like this
Posted by First World Problems
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 8, 2019 at 10:10 am

I find it disgusting reading through the PUSD Board minutes at how little the city was willing to work with PUSD and Amador to make this happen! The neighborhoods in the area could have allowed permitted parking on the streets (i.e. students would have to get a temporary permit to park there), but NOOOOO...the Ptown NIMBYism strikes again. It is because of this Flagship Pleasanton School (as well as the other outstanding schools in Pleasanton) that our house values are so high.

REALLY, Ptown City planning and council, you couldn't have tried to be more of a team player??!?! REALLY, residents in the immediate surrounding area (of which I am one), you couldn't be flexible for a few short months?!??

And REALLY AVHS families...you couldn't be more creative and willing to let/encourage your little darlings (who live close enough) either bike or walk? I've talked with more parents who are so tied up in knots about how this will inconvenience their little darling, that if these parents were to actually use this kind of energy and angst to help solve some of the REAL challenges facing AVHS and PUSD, we'd have no challenges to solve!!!

Such a first world problem...


14 people like this
Posted by First Things First
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 8, 2019 at 10:32 am

Perhaps...just perhaps...if the district had thought this through in advance, this would not be a fire that needs to be extinguished immediately. Vendors already paid, etc. Really?

This is reminiscent of the million dollar laptop scenario...were families surveyed for interest or need before spending millions? No.

Please get it together, district. No additional bond money coming from my family.


11 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 11:32 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

If you voted for the bond, you voted for the computers. But I agree so far for no more bond money.

From this article: “A more recent idea is possibly parking on the blacktop between the gym and football field and using some of the tennis courts as on-site parking for primarily staff and possibly students," district facilities and construction director Nick Olsen said during a staff presentation that evening. . . . Superintendent David Haglund and the trustees liked the idea, but he said the district needs to make sure they can still facilitate games for the girls tennis team at Amador Valley in the fall.

We are solving one problem by creating others. How long before they realize the courts are damaged? Are they rated to have cars parked on them? Tire marks?

Ms. Arkin, most students can’t legally carpool.

Can someone please start questioning timelines and approving half baked ideas?


29 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Taxpayer
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 8, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Limited parking? What's all the fuss about? All these high-school students successfully attended school without driving and parking for at least nine years (K-8). And now they can't deal with this for two months? We are too coddled.


14 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Misdirection on the real issues.
- Why is HVAC at PMS, a project that should have bond funding approved, have to be paired with this project which apparently can't pass on its own merits (i.e. no real payback).

- Seems like the feel good feeling of being green is taking priority over using green dollars on infrastructure that is needed vs wanted. I fully believe and support investments in sustainable energy.....but unless those solar panels cover the holes in the buildings, we're misaligned on prioritization.

- Relative to parking, yes, give students a 2 month temporary pass for the neighborhood, give the neighborhood a direct line to the principal to report kids causing trouble....don't throw $80k at a problem that doesn't need to be created.

As for any sort of future funding, Pleasanton School District you're ensuring "no" on all future bond voting.



18 people like this
Posted by PUSD parent
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm

I find this solution absolutely ridiculous! We are going to spend money to fix the damage to the field, tennis court or wherever this parking on campus occurs! We need to get our children ready for REAL problems/adversity in life. There are so many schools all over this country that do NOT provide school parking and yet those kids get to school. Walk, ride bikes, carpool, take the bus, go in early at a time your parents are going to work. They can drop you and you can use the extra time to help out on campus, study or grab a cup of coffee downtown. This is not the end of the world Pleasanton residents. It will be ok if you can't park your overpriced 16th birthday gift in the parking lot. And shame on the city for not allowing street parking for 6 months if there is truly a hardship for some. It's 6 months folks. I know we live in a bubble here but come on... there are some common sense solutions and it won't do any undue damage to our little ones. I walked 2 miles to school twice a day growing up from k - 12th grade and I have survived just fine. Our kids will too.. Let's be rational. IF the project is truly worthwhile - we can get by this.


1 person likes this
Posted by Lemontree
a resident of Del Prado
on May 8, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Pleasanton Taxpayer - you're point is taken, but let's not forget that many students could walk to their elementary school because there are so many more of them. BUt yes. if the student's managed to get to high school the week before they got their license, they should be able to manage to get their the day after they get their license even if there is not parking spot.


6 people like this
Posted by Ohboy
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 4:29 pm

How about walk to school for extra PE credits?


9 people like this
Posted by Gee whiz
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 4:41 pm

The school board members are out of touch with simple laws regarding provisional driver's licenses and restrictions on passengers. I'm sure the weight of several tons of vehicles will do wonders for the tennis courts, that they'll then ask for a bond measure to re-construct, because they destroyed them.

Maybe if the PUSD was less concerned with their series of Twitter accounts, they would actually have more energy to focus on solving simple problems.

I don't understand why on earth the superintendent needs more than one Twitter account. With Web Link and Web Link and probably more, the self-described "Father, teacher, tribe leader, community builder, and lead learner in PUSD" you would think that a simple thing like a parking lot modification would not spawn meeting after meeting and newspaper article after newspaper article.

Leave it to PUSD to make a major mountain out of a mole hill because they can't solve a simple problem or come up with a simple solution, like close off a portion of the parking lot at a time or do it in phases over two summers when school is not in session. Or put the solar panels on the roof, for goodness sake.

Rolling eyes.


5 people like this
Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 6:22 pm

We are not talking about a 2 month inconvenience. The completion date is around December. Why is this just being thought through now? It will be a nightmare and the suggestion is for these new drivers to park on the school's blacktop and tennis courts? What happens if there is a school evacuation and the kids evacuate to the football field? Will they be weaving in and out of cars to get there? Good luck, Amador. You are going to need it!


1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2019 at 6:26 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Will the construction workers have background checks?


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Michael, I am fairly certain that has been a requirement for quite some time.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2019 at 7:39 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Kathleen, lets hope so, and the back ground records are available upon request.
Trust and verify is good policy.


2 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Kathleen, just to follow up.
I visit school campuses through out northern California.
A school district or college campus have never asked me to submit to back ground check.
I also visit Lawrence Livermore Lab, NASA Aims research often, these two organizations ask me to submit to seventy-hour background back ground check prior to every visit.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 9:03 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Michael, are you accessing school campuses? There should be a sign-in and badge issuance and some connection/reason you are there. Contractors with many employees at a site, in my experience, have had to provide proof of clearance.


12 people like this
Posted by AVHS Parent
a resident of Las Positas
on May 10, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Love the idea of walking to school, but there many kids that live farther than walking distance. There are many kids who have after school jobs and they need to have their car at school to get them to work on time in addition to the students who pick up their siblings from middle and elementary school. Obviously this has been in the works for a while "PUSD would also owe payment for several contractors and consultants working on the project, and another school would also be affected" so why is this just being talked about and why are they only now working on a solution for parking? This is very poor planning and will greatly affect parents and students. If the parking lot is going to be under construction, where is drop off/pick up going to take place for the students that live too far too bike or walk to school? Where are people going to park for sports and school events. We are not just talking about students, this will affect the entire community. I am extremely disappointed at the lack of transparency and planning. This has obviously been in the works for a while and the fact that it is just now being brought to the community's attention is BS. PUSD needs to figure out a better solution than closing the parking lot for months


11 people like this
Posted by Really!?
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 10, 2019 at 1:05 pm

Once again we find ourselves at the mercy of a “council or district” decision that has tremendous impact on the community with little to no communication in advance. The lack of consideration for AVHS faculty, parents & students/ athletes, residents surrounding Amador and so many others is mind boggling.

I am also saddened by several comments posted by community members above. The “inconvenience” will not only impact kids that drive to school, it will impact the parent that need to drive their kids to school. Parents and kids that have jobs that don’t have the flexabity to just “arrange” their schedules.....

There are kids that had the ability to walk to their elementary and middle schools but no longer have the ability to walk to their high school due the the distance.

If walking were an option, how safe do you think your child would be walking based on the number of drivers we constantly see running red lights, ignoring stop signs, making turns while kids are in the cross walk or even hitting kids with their car and “not even knowing it “and driving away!?!?!?

I hope before people post their thoughts, comments, and feedback, they take a moment to think about the community as a “whole”


14 people like this
Posted by Darren Leggett
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 10, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Destruction of recently renovated tennis courts that were paid for by 100% private donation is not a good idea on so many levels. I can't even believe it was proposed. Black top use, good. AVHS and PUSD promotion of carpooling/doubling up rides for a few months....even better. come on PUSD, we can do better......do not destroy tennis courts!


10 people like this
Posted by Football Season is Dead
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 10, 2019 at 2:02 pm

The Santa Rita lot is far, far more than just student parking. It's the primary drop-off and pickup site for every activity taking place at the school. It's evening parking for every school activity. Heavy usage starts around 7 am when students arrive for early classes and before-school activities. 2800 students get to school and most aren't walking or biking, they're being dropped off in that parking area. The activity doesn't end until the last evening sport, theater or club activity is done. In between there are dozens of buses for teams heading to away matches, or visiting teams arriving. Hundreds of cars dropping off and picking up students.

So where will everyone park, get dropped off, or get picked up when there's a football game? Homecoming? All the other campus events?

P.S. Destroying tennis courts to provide temporary parking was tried in Berkeley and the courts still haven't been rebuilt. The rebuild cost is always higher than the initial estimate, there's currently no budget, and there's always a competing need for the money (gym cough gym).



Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

Really?!
Those 4 / 83,0000 = 0.0001% after rounding. And the real number would use the school population walking and the number of drivers/trips which would push the odds even lower. Those are terrible events, but dont project them as common. You take away credibility from your other points


8 people like this
Posted by Bob Heeter
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Just want to comment that the boys’ tennis team whose courts are now in jeopardy has made it to NCS finals - and earned a spot in the CIF NorCal State (Top 8) tournament next weekend. As for NCS, the match is going on right now and is an even battle with Redwood so far! Go Dons!


7 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2019 at 6:38 pm

I love that I teach at Amador but have to read the Pleasanton Weekly to find out what's going on at my school.


3 people like this
Posted by Agree
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm

If the administrators spent less time posting pictures and re-tweeting rants from every corner of the Earth on their Twitter feeds, perhaps they would take the time to inform people of what is going on.

What if the teachers can't even make it to Amador each morning because of the gridlocked traffic?

I wonder if the gridlock for the lines of cars stopped along Santa Rita forced to do drop off and pick up twice a day for thousands of students at Amador will cause those who live in the Jensen tract to be locked in the neighborhood and unable to get out.

And what about the diminished air quality of all those idling cars stopped along Santa Rita. How will that effect Alisal and the surrounding neighborhoods?

How are people supposed to park for the Las Positas College classes offered in the afternoon and evening at Amador? Has Las Positas College even been told about this?

Will Santa Rita come to a standstill twice a day? Has anyone thought about any of the ramifications this might cause?


4 people like this
Posted by comment
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 12, 2019 at 12:14 am

Perhaps the students can solve the parking lot problem or hire a non-union contractor themselves that can get the job done in 4-6 weeks rather than several months.

Also maybe the students can hire the contractors to fix all of the roof leaks and structural problems and HVAC issues at all the school sites as well that are listed as structural deficiencies in all the SARCs the PUSD just published January 2019 here Web Link

This might be more of a learning experience than the curriculum department forcing students to watch autopsies being conducted on television and PUSD staff sending out and re-tweeting Twitter videos of students watching autopsy videos on April 26th Web Link


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

 

Pleasanton Readers' Choice ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "Pleasanton Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 20th. Stay tuned for the results in the June 28th issue of the Pleasanton Weekly.

VOTE HERE