Pleasanton school district and city officials have worked out part of their temporary plan for when Amador Valley High School students return in August to a campus without any available parking.
Now that classes have let out for the summer, the parking lot facing Santa Rita Road is set to begin receiving an “eco-friendly upgrade," when workers start construction on a new solar panel structure plus add new crosswalks and reorient the parking configuration. Work is expected to continue into the new school year until early October, although PUSD said they will “continue to look for ways to expedite this timeline.”
During that time, more than 400 student parking spaces will be unavailable and only about 50 reserved for staff and faculty -- a prospect that doesn’t thrill Amador families or neighbors around the school worried about how the absence of parking will affect them.
To help minimize traffic jams on Santa Rita during student drop-off and pick-up, the city and PUSD have identified seven loading zones both near and adjacent to the school. The drop-off and pick-up loop bordering the student parking lot will remain open during construction, and loading zones will be established on Del Valle Parkway, Black Avenue and on Santa Rita next to the aquatic center park.
Officials are still working to analyze solutions for the student and staff parking shortfall during construction once school starts again for the fall semester in August.
“While we understand that this is a significant temporary challenge, and presents a short-term inconvenience, it also provides for a 25-plus year benefit in addition to priceless learning opportunities for our students,” the district said on its website. “We are confident that in working together with our school and broader community, our students will continue to be able to get to school safely while being kind and conscientious of our community neighbors during this time.”
A number of suggestions for temporary parking were previously floated such as using the junior varsity softball fields and tennis courts on campus, but those were rejected after backlash from the Amador athletic community. Renting parking space at the Alameda County Fairgrounds has also been dismissed because of issues with cost and liability.
District staff also ruled out putting the project on hold until next year due to Proposition 39 funding deadlines. The solar project's total cost is about $650,000, which comes from Prop 39 funding. PUSD anticipates saving about $1.8 million in energy costs over the course of 25 years, while also offering coverage for students’ and staff’s vehicles, reducing the district’s carbon footprint and providing long-term renewable energy.
“We are working with Wheels and other local transportation partners in collaboration with the city and will have information on additional transportation options soon,” PUSD spokesperson Patrick Gannon told the Weekly about the district’s continued parking mitigation efforts.
PUSD said they will continue sharing transportation and parking updates with the public throughout the summer and into the 2019-20 school year.
For more information about the project, including a list of drop off and pick up zones and a campus circulation map, visit the district’s Amador Solar Parking Structure Project page under the Facilities and Construction section of the website.