Tennis courts off the table for Amador Valley High parking options

District mulling other ideas for temporary parking amid solar panel construction

A proposal to park hundreds of cars on the Amador Valley High School tennis courts during construction of a solar panel structure in the school's front parking lot has been scrapped after tennis coaches and families roundly panned the plan.

Danny Yee, varsity boys tennis coach at Amador, thanked Pleasanton Unified School District officials in an email last Friday for the "prompt review and response to remove tennis courts from consideration as a parking solution" after recently meeting with stakeholders to "review the issues and concerns, and make an appropriate decision."

More than 400 parking spaces will be unavailable for about 4-1/2 months while construction of the solar structure and reorientation of the Amador parking lot facing Santa Rita Road is underway. The project is scheduled to start the first week of June and is expected to continue through October.

Just 50 parking spaces for faculty will be available on the first day of the 2019-20 school year, according to PUSD, prompting the recent exploration of alternative parking options for remaining staff members and several hundred students.

Some ideas like using the junior varsity softball fields were dismissed, as was potentially renting parking space at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

Another idea contemplated in recent weeks was using the school's tennis courts as a temporary parking lot -- right in the middle of the girls' season. Members of the Amador athletic community said that option would be "disrespectful" to private donors who have contributed large sums of money in recent years to refurbish the tennis courts and help maintain team facilities.

Staff said that Proposition 39 funding deadlines for the project make delaying impossible, and that expediting work would be "very costly in such a short construction window" and shorten the timeline by only a couple of weeks.

The district and city met last week to review parking options and "there are a few items that are still under consideration," according to Superintendent David Haglund.

Dedicated daily use of the courts at the city's Tennis and Community Park could not be guaranteed, so the city offered to help secure other facilities but the district declined because one coach couldn't support players at multiple sites.

"Without a workable plan for the team, this option is no longer feasible and will not be pursued further," Haglund said of the tennis courts parking idea.

PUSD spokesperson Patrick Gannon said that remaining options includ "still looking at the blacktop as a parking option, minus the tennis courts, working with Wheels and our other transportation partners to increase, add, and/or create new bus lines during construction in the first eight weeks of the school year, as well as continuing to collaborate and explore options with the city of Pleasanton."

The solar project's total cost is approximately $650,000, which comes from Prop 39 funding. PUSD expects to save about $1.8 million in energy costs over the course of 25 years, while also adding covered parking for students and staff, and safety-enhancing features like crosswalks for pedestrians.

The district plans to provide an update at the end of May or early in June, Gannon said.

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2 people like this
Posted by Av parent
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 21, 2019 at 10:41 am

I wonder if they could renovate the parking lot part by part, thereby affecting as little parking spaces as possible.

4 people like this
Posted by Pull Together on Amador Parking
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 21, 2019 at 10:45 am

So long as the Amador solar project is done on time, we can get through the parking crunch working together.

Parents can drop off. We did it for the K-10 years. The school will need safe drop-off locations if the Santa Rita lot is entirely closed. This is true for activities and sports as well. This sounds like top priority need.

If I read the provisional license rules correctly, students who have had licenses over 1 year can carpool.

The blacktop area is a good option for temporary parking, especially for faulty needs, and there’s some parking on nearby streets for others who really need to drive. Might have to walk a few minutes more. Need to be respectful of the residential neighborhoods too. While this will be a hassle, it is everyday life in many cities - this could be a good life experience for any seniors thinking of attending an urban college or working in a larger city after graduation.

The situation is not great but not a disaster - and not forever. And the other area schools which already have solar shade structures in their lots show it’s worthwhile.

Are there more ways we can pull together on this to minimize impacts?

8 people like this
Posted by Still Disgusted
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 21, 2019 at 11:02 am

I am not at all supportive of the blacktop being used for parking, but if it is, who will conduct traffic once inside Amador? Will the district executives be on hand daily to do this, both at drop off and pick-up?

The lack of planning with this project is an embarrassment to our community. If it does go through as planned, I can only shake my head at the thought of the problems to come: Santa Rita, Black Avenue, Del Valle back-ups morning and afternoons, student driving accidents once inside the newly designed black top parking, parent accidents waiting to get into the blacktop area. And don't forget students being hit by cars as they walk through moving cars.

I often wonder why the district bothers to tell the community what is planned for our schools, when parent feedback does not seem to impact outcome.

Hold onto your hats, folks. Hate to think this, but things will only get worse.

9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 21, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Why is it that this community freaks out at the least little thing that might inconvenience THEM as one person among many. Common good - benefit for all - good neighbor attitude goes right out the window.
1. We are talking about smart, educated seniors and juniors. Many of whom will be going off to college soon or will be out in the workforce or military. Heavens forbid they have to cross the street in traffic in Pleasanton or get a carpool or walk, ride the bus or take a bike for a few months! We are losing common sense as parents and as a community. Some schools all over this country do not have student parking lots. Yet those students get to school. How did your student get to school for the last 11 or 12 years? Maybe your family should discuss going back to that process.

2. I think it's ridiculous that we have streets barring parking or turning left during certain hours of the day as the majority of us are property owners who pay huge dollars to live here. Why should any street be closed to a Pleasanton resident who pays thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in property taxes. Open the streets. Give instructions to students. Educate them on what is expected and leave it to the student and their family to figure out how to best get to school. Put a lottery system or fee structure for any parking that is available to students. We can do this. Spending this much time, energy and resources on this situation is ridiculous.
How would we ever face real adversity as a community like raging FIRES. Or a bad earthquake, mudslides - whatever. We have many communities in CA and the US that would love our problem versus what they're facing. Let's keep things in perspective Mom, Dad and students.

2 people like this
Posted by Scooter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Why not give each student an electric scooter to get to school. Won't take much parking space and they won't have to (horrors) walk.

5 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 21, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Dear resident,
Our community is an intelligent and resourceful one. Part of this fiasco is lazy planning by the district. Why survey families last month about getting to school, parking, etc., if this has been in the works for years? Nothing like waiting to the last minute to ask for input then reject or do nothing with it.

If you don’t drive through the Amador parking lot between 7.45 and 8.00 am or 2.45-3.15 pm, I think you might be enlightened.

Reality is everything.

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 21, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Students pay for parking at the school. Neighbors don’t want students parking on “their” streets. The lack of planning is unfortunate, and the first few days of school will be awful. Hopefully, with the help of the PPD, it will settle down to a fairly decent routine.

6 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on May 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

Isn't this the same generation that is up in arms about climate change destroying the planet? Get a bike or walk...put your ideals into practice.

8 people like this
Posted by Former resident
a resident of Livermore
on May 22, 2019 at 8:52 am

And yet, somehow the Livermore school district managed to install panels at both high schools as well as middle and elementary schools without this kind of ruckus. Construction at the Granada High School parking lot started in October and was completed in December.

6 people like this
Posted by Karl Aitken
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 22, 2019 at 12:27 pm


To your comment about neighbors and "their streets".

I anticipate similar to what I see whenever the swim meets are going on. Where driveways are blocked and people park illegally on corners, etc., people show a great deal of disrespect for our neighborhood to avoid walking a little farther.

Students already park inappropriately on Harvest Road - I expect the same or worse when this construction goes on.

Than is why we are getting temporary parking permits so the anticipated "I don't care how I impact others" selfishness won't cause problems on "our streets" that are in front of "our homes".

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 22, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I understand those legitimate concerns Karl. It was stated the neighborhoods didn’t want temporary permits allowed. If that is now part of the plan, I appreciate it. If students are parking as you note, I would hope PPD is Going to do some serious ticketing to nip it in the bud. If Former resident is right about Livermore, it seems PUSD miscalculated a a few fronts.

3 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2019 at 8:19 am

Flightops is a registered user.

Bring back school buses, have those poor kids park at the Ken Mercer sports park for a couple of months and get used to riding school buses while slowly phasing in full time busing to their schools. When the solar project is completed only issue parking permits for seniors, maybe reconfigure student drop off and pickup areas for the kids who need to be chauffeured to school everyday.

6 people like this
Posted by Friendly Neighborhood
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 29, 2019 at 10:29 am

I live in the housing tract across the street from Amador. We were NEVER asked if we would object to having students park on our streets for the first few months of school. Considering we moved near a high school, it goes without saying that our streets would be impacted during sporting events, band events, Open House, etc. We expect it and plan for it.
We know that students will park on our street while the solar panels are being installed. It will all work out.

Like this comment
Posted by Karl Aitken
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Hi Friendly Neighborhood -

I guess you are not aware that the Jensen tract has had parking permits in place for years. Perhaps you live so far away from the high school that they were not implemented in your area.

I too expect some overflow parking when special events are going on. This is a significantly different situation that will put a major burden on my neighborhood for an extended period of time.

Perhaps you will experience the disrespectful behavior of students in the fall and change your mind about what is friendly and what is not.

Good luck!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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