Tennis teams protest parking proposal at Amador Valley High

Coaches call using tennis courts as temporary parking lot 'insulting'

PUSD is set to undertake a project to add solar structures above parking spaces in the Amador Valley High School lot, with construction starting in summer break and likely continuing into the fall semester. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

A concept to park several hundred cars on the Amador Valley High School tennis courts while a solar panel structure is built in the front parking lot during the start of the school year has sparked a backlash.

Some members of the Amador Valley athletic community have called the plan poorly conceived and are demanding that Pleasanton Unified School District go back to the drawing board after the idea of using school tennis courts as a temporary parking lot was introduced at Tuesday night's school board meeting.

“It is insulting for PUSD to propose turning AVHS tennis courts into a parking lot, however temporary that may be,” said Amador Valley boys tennis coach Danny Yee in an email to district administration including the Board of Trustees and Superintendent David Haglund.

Amador Valley girls tennis coach Claire Chinn, whose team plays during the fall and would be most directly impacted by the parking switch, commented in the same email chain, saying it does the “bright and resilient” student body no favors to “indulge them.”

“It concerns me that we are responsible for sending the students out into the world as capable adults, but indulge them as though they are not problem solvers and aren’t capable of tolerating frustrations,” Chinn said. “These are remarkable young people. Allow them to come up with their own solutions for transportation during this process. Honor them with a challenge.”

District spokesperson Patrick Gannon told the Weekly on Friday, “The one campus parking option was listed along with many others that were being investigated as potential solutions to minimize the impact of the project on the surrounding neighborhoods.”

“At this point, no decision has been made, and there are ongoing discussions with the city and school site focused on finding the best plan forward,” Gannon added.

More than 400 parking spaces will be out of commission for about 4-1/2 months while the Amador Valley parking lot facing Santa Rita Road is re-oriented and the structure is being installed. Approximately 50 parking spaces for staff will be available on the first day of the 2019-20 school year, according to PUSD.

Work is scheduled to begin in June after school lets out but expected to last through October, concerning many Amador Valley neighbors and families about how the loss of parking will affect everyone.

The possibility of parking on the campus blacktop between the gym and football field in addition to using the tennis courts for primarily staff and possibly student parking came about when a similar idea to use the junior varsity softball fields was recently floated but rejected.

The blacktop could possibly park around 132 vehicles, according to district facilities and construction staff. An estimated 200 or more vehicles could park on campus if the blacktop area and three tennis courts are used; the blacktop and six tennis courts could fit an additional 100 vehicles.

Refurbishing the tennis courts for an estimated $80,000 would be less expensive than repairing the softball field, according to PUSD. But Amador Valley tennis members and supporters called tearing up the courts “disrespectful” to community members who privately donated to help maintain their facilities when the district did not have the funds.

“(Former tennis coach) Don Anger donated approximately $80,000 to have the courts resurfaced just two years ago,” said Susana and Peter Krulevitch in an email. “We find it so disrespectful to him and his family to have the tennis courts destroyed to accommodate parking for three months. What message does this send to the Anger family and other community members that invest in our schools?”

“There must be other options to consider, such as remote parking with shuttle buses, or additional bus routes,” they said, and also questioned where the girls tennis team would practice and hold matches during that time, and whether PUSD would pay for alternate facilities and transportation to those sites.

Private busing or contracting with Bay Area Traffic Solutions for traffic management are being explored but staff said other ideas like renting parking space at the nearby Alameda County Fairgrounds would cost too much and present liability issues. The city is also considering adding loading and unloading zones on Del Valle and Black avenues.

Delaying construction isn’t possible because of the Proposition 39 funding deadlines tied to the project, according to PUSD staff, who previously said expediting work was also previously written off as “very costly in such a short construction window and would only knock off about two weeks from the final completion date."

The total project is estimated to cost about $650,000, which will come from Prop 39 funding. The district would save approximately $1.8 million in energy costs over the 25-year lifespan of the solar panel structure, while also improving pedestrian safety, providing covered parking and reducing the school's carbon footprint.

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10 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm

One point eight million savings over twenty-five years is less then $75K year.

What thought has been inputed regarding electric cars over the next twenty-five years, that will require charging while parked on campus?
The cost of charging stations installed on campus?

9 people like this
Posted by Are they just winging it?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Wasn't the PUSD as sponsor of this project by California law required to do some sort of mitigated negative declaration or EIR type of document that put forth visual impacts of of the construction project, options and impacts for the loss of parking and the impacts in the surrounding neighborhood for this construction project? I can't find anything online that they have submitted to the state in terms of EIR documents.

Weren't they required to gather this information including options and alternatives to come up with the best alternative, of which destroying the tennis courts seems to be one of the worst alternatives conceivable?

All I know is that I can't find any such document. In fact, all I see is this - - Web Link

Where are the EIR documents that PUSD was supposed to do concerning this solar panel project anyway? I'm betting they didn't do any. None of the neighbors surrounding AVHS that I know of received any notification about this as well as is usual when an EIR is done.

19 people like this
Posted by JC
a resident of Birdland
on May 11, 2019 at 6:52 am

I agree with Ms. Chinn. Somehow people managed to get their kids to school in 9th and 10th grade when they couldn’t drive. Whatever they were doing then can be done for a few short months even though it’s a pain. Let’s build some resilience, people! Also, I’m happy to see them doing SOMETHING to improve SOMETHING about Amador’s horrible facilities. Amador serves more students than any school in the district, yet went largely overlooked on the bond measure. The place is so run down. But you know which part looks pretty good? The tennis courts! Please don’t ruin them PUSD and then say you can’t afford to fix them after (or take a decade to do so).

9 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 11, 2019 at 8:12 am

Ive stated earlier the roi on this project is horrible. They really need to negotiate better.
Also. Why do you assume charging stations should be provided? We dont provide gas to students today? Im not saying its a bad idea, but the practicality of charging stations and maintaining them seems only to add unnecessary complexity.
Additionally, charging stations wouldn't be what id factor in as students/teachers predominantly park all day. You dont want to add the need to rotate cars if limited charging stations, nor do you want the cost of all fast charge stations that wont be utilized all hours (commute is going to be less than 10mi for any Pleasanton student, and a fast charge would replenish that on a daily basis in less than an hr.
If anything id just put in 110v outlets to offer

1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 11, 2019 at 8:42 am

The students and parents will demand charging stations.
PUSD will float another bond to finance it.

10 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 11, 2019 at 10:18 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

“It concerns me that we are responsible for sending the students out into the world as capable adults, but indulge them as though they are not problem solvers and aren’t capable of tolerating frustrations,” Chinn said. “These are remarkable young people. Allow them to come up with their own solutions for transportation during this process. Honor them with a challenge.”

This is not just a challenge to students; it challenges neighborhoods . . . and, oddly, Ms. Chinn does not appear to be accepting the challenge.

JC, as noted on the other thread, the neighborhoods said no to temporary permits to park on the street; many students have jobs, a variety of private lessons, and other obligations after school. Walking or cycling (although there really isn’t any secure place to put them) is great for the students who can do so, but not everyone can.

18 people like this
Posted by Bob Heeter
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 12, 2019 at 10:39 am

Bob Heeter is a registered user.

Kathleen, the Varsity Tennis coaches were blindsided with this proposal and forced to write immediate responses. The Amador tennis community is justifiably dismayed and in many cases quite angry. Their only available facility has been "spontaneously" singled out as even less worthy of protection than a single JV softball field. That's particularly frustrating since Pleasanton already has a lot of public softball facilities!

But this should not be about tennis vs softball. It should be about proper planning for a construction project with a major community impact. It should be about working together to create non-destructive transportation and parking options that don't throw ANY championship sports teams under the bus.

I have some other concerns about the tennis-to-parking idea. This is not a case of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few. By the math, the tennis courts serve roughly as many students, families and community members as tennis courts as they might serve as parking lots. The courts are used by over 100 Varsity, JV and community tennis players. The teams use them after school, the Chinese Sunday school has lessons there on weekends, they are used by dozens of younger players each week, and they are open to the public on weekends during the school year and every day during the summer, during peak hours when other community courts are quite busy. As parking, the same space might hold around 160 vehicles per district estimate, but possibly less because of the need for the cars to drive in and out and the odd shape of the area.

One should also question the expense of converting back and forth. The district's $80K ballpark figure may be a gross underestimate. Below the recently refinished surface veneer, the existing court concrete is cracked in many places - this is why they were resurfaced. The resurfacing hides the cracks and works fine for tennis, but how well will it hold up to 20-plus vehicles on a court? There's a risk of more severe damage. $80K is reasonable as a resurfacing and re-fencing cost for a few courts. But if the courts are deeply damaged, the repair cost could be much much higher. Given the rush, one doubts that an adequate engineering evaluation was done. (And if there was no rush, then why were the tennis teams not informed earlier?)

Overall this idea seems rash and unlikely to provide a net benefit to the community.

6 people like this
Posted by Parking for $25/day!
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm

Parking for $25/day! is a registered user.

District numbers work out to $25/day for each parking spot
$80,000 spend
68 parking spots
for 2 months.

That's over $500 per month per space!
$25 per parking spot per school day.

For $500/month, perhaps people or the city might offer up existing spaces near Amador? Driveways, store parking not used much during school hours, city parking spots? Liability coverage could be purchased as needed for a small fraction.

6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 12, 2019 at 4:58 pm

The US post office and other commercial locations on Black Avenue including Dolores Bengston Aquatic Center will be full everyday all day during school hours.

12 people like this
Posted by Are they just winging it?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2019 at 5:38 pm

Good point. So will the shopping center with the Safeway, Pet Express, Noahs and the Walgreens.

The absurdist theater of the latest PUSD stunt continues....

Haglund apparently for some reason, in addition to destroying the Amador tennis courts that he wants to use for a parking lot, has proposed that rather than Foothill High tennis courts being the site of Amador girls tennis, he instead wants to also inundate the neighborhood around the city's Tennis Park and use the Lifetime Activities city tennis courts for Amador girls' tennis tournaments, thereby displacing city residents who use the courts daily at the Tennis Park as well as take lessons in group and individual lessons at the Tennis Park.

The Pleasanton Weekly quote: "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."

He announces it in public but has not even had a conversation with the city or the Tennis Park contractor yet. Residents are charged $6 per 45 minutes on a single court at the city's Tennis Courts so I suppose that Haglund wants to have *free* use of the city courts, when of course as private citizens we have to pay $6 per 45 minutes. As well as turning the neighborhood around in the Tennis Park into a parking nightmare.

Haglund wants to boot out private citizens and classes offered for young children through adults through the Parks and Rec Guide at the city's Tennis Park, rather than use his own second high school's tennis courts at Foothill High for Amador sports. And because the Amador courts will likely be destroyed with cars parked on them, how many years and millions of dollars would it take to get new fences for the ones they plan on tearing down to make and parking lot and get the Amador courts playable again?

26 people like this
Posted by Roy cavellini
a resident of Livermore
on May 13, 2019 at 9:36 am

Why did the School Board not negotiate a contract requiring the work all be completed during the Summer Vacation. Reconfiguring the parking lot and putting up Solar Panels is not a 4 month job.

16 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 13, 2019 at 9:59 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Bob, I agree with you—poor communication, half-baked ideas, project too long, damage potential, waste of funding. I don’t understand how the board is agreeing to any of it. My comment about Ms. Chinn was about the irony of saying others should accept the challenge, but I absolutely do not want cars parking on tennis courts.

26 people like this
Posted by Appalled
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2019 at 11:48 am

Appalled that PUSD would basically take Mr. Don Anger's extremely generous donation Web Link and resurface the courts in summer of 2017 with his own money that he has given to the district and Board members only for the Board to trash the courts by having them become a temporary parking lot. It is more than disrespectful now that you know that the entire board knew about Mr. Don Anger's donation (see the minutes above). It is actually appalling that they would be willing to ruin the tennis courts that a private citizen and used to be a teacher paid to have resurfaced less than 24 months ago.

Also, something seems very fishy that the project estimated cost is $400,000 here Web Link but in this article Web Link ;however,the PUSD is quoted as saying if they don't do the project, they have to return $1.14 million in Prop 39 funds.

So why are they telling the State that the project costs $400,000 and here in the newspaper they are saying in Board meetings they have apparently received $1.14 million for the project?

1 person likes this
Posted by Henry
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 13, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Students typically park before 9:00 a.m. At this time there is a large amount of parking available on downtown streets and lots, just down the street from the High School. The parking spots would open up just after 3:00 p.m. to allow time for late afternoon business, shopping and evening dining at the restaurants. The business owners who complain can put more pressure on the construction to move quickly than the bordering neighborhood residents ever could.

5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 13, 2019 at 9:11 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Henry, there are a lot of restaurants looking for lunch customers. There is another thread on current parking problems downtown. This just inconveniences everyone.

6 people like this
Posted by No Name
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 14, 2019 at 10:01 am

Why not do the work around the clock. Have the contractor work 7 days a week 24hours a day. If that's not possible then 7 days a week 12-15 hour shifts. The overtime costs should be equal or cheaper than renting a facility for the students to park. The extra time and days working might expedite the project.

2 people like this
Posted by Just an idea
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 15, 2019 at 1:41 pm

How about parking on the football field? Plenty of room!

Like this comment
Posted by Amador parent
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 15, 2019 at 8:41 pm

Amador parent is a registered user.

1) Neighborhood city streets are paid for by everyone's taxes and are supposed to allow for parking for residents. Unsure why that is an issue, other than Nimbyism

2) The resurfacing cost of the courts works out to $25/day parking spot. Just use the money to pay for local residents area improvements (to allow parking).

3) Many neighborhood entrepreneurs (for e.g. in downtown tourist areas) actually sell spots online to allow strangers to park in their driveway for $10/day. The folks at our school could negotiate the same with locals?, if they could not make item 1) work

3 people like this
Posted by Amador parent
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 15, 2019 at 8:47 pm

Amador parent is a registered user.

>One point eight million savings over twenty-five years is less then $75K year.

>So why are they telling the State that the project costs $400,000 and here in the >newspaper they are saying in Board meetings they have apparently received $1.14 >million for the project?

So the return on investment for Solar install is 5 years (400K cost/ 0.75K savings= 5 years). Wow i wish i had solar panels like that !!!

Or it is 15 years (1.14 Mil cost / 0.75 savings). That's a dog !!

In either case, someone's fudging the numbers to get all the money upfront. WOnder who's related to the contractor (for Solar and tennis court)

2 people like this
Posted by EO
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm

What about using the outfields of baseball area?

3 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 17, 2019 at 1:19 am

If you paid 400 student drivers $100 dollars each to not drive to school for 3 months that would only cost 40k, half of the what it would cost to refurbish the tennis courts...

C'mon guys, GO GREEN.

2 people like this
Posted by Buses
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 17, 2019 at 6:44 am

There are buses from ALL the neighborhoods; this is ridiculous that the board is considering ruining the tennis courts, but once again, the board is influenced by a few complainers rather than doing what is right.

Like this comment
Posted by Suspicious
a resident of Birdland
on May 20, 2019 at 10:32 am

There has been zero communication on the school board agenda regarding the Amador parking lot solution. It’s too quiet. I have a sinking feeling the school board is going to ram this project in regardless of doing the right thing by the students and community. Disappointing.

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