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Work starts off-site for Amador project; PUSD inks deal with church for parking

Gatetree Circle residents dismayed with drop-off/pick-up proposal

Another piecemeal solution to the parking puzzle at Amador Valley High School was added on Tuesday when district officials struck a deal to temporarily use part of the parking lot at Valley Community Church in the fall semester while Amador's student lot along Santa Rita Road is reconfigured and has a solar panel structure installed.

Meanwhile, some neighbors and parents said they are frustrated about not seeing any visible signs of progress yet on the Amador parking lot, a project scheduled to get underway as soon as school let out for summer break June 1.

Fencing has been erected around the perimeter of the otherwise-untouched lot, but district leaders say work has been happening behind the scenes and the project remains on track to be completed by mid-October.

"Steel for the Amador Valley High School solar parking structure is currently being constructed off-site," said Patrick Gannon, spokesman for the Pleasanton Unified School District. "Community members can expect to see heavy construction begin in mid-July as our summer programs come to a close."

Approval from the state was received "faster than anticipated, which expedited our approval from the Division of State Architects" almost a month ago. "Following this approval, the district was able to order and begin steel work for the structure off site," Gannon added.

Roughly half a dozen neighbors of Amador spoke to the school board during public comment Tuesday night to express dismay about the project, specifically the proposal to use Gatetree Circle as one of seven designated drop-off and pick-up locations near the campus amid the lot closure when classes begin again in August.

Critics called the Gatetree location "not very thoughtful" and "a safety concern for everybody."

In an interview before the meeting, Gatetree resident Jill Lackhoff told the Weekly that the horseshoe street "will become gridlock and very unsafe for our students."

"All of us, the elders and older people in the neighborhood and the kids, there's a very big safety issue because people are in a rush to go to work, and it doesn't seem safe to me," Lackhoff said, adding that she and neighbors weren't consulted before about using their street as a location for student loading.

"I know a lot of residents on Ridgewood (Road) are concerned as well because they are going to be impacted with having the traffic on their street as well," Lackhoff said, noting there is no stop sign before turning from Gatetree onto Ridgewood.

The city of Pleasanton was set to hold a meeting this week with Gatetree residents to "discuss the various alternatives that have been explored and some others that they would like to explore," according to city traffic engineer Mike Tassano.

"It is my understanding that Gatetree (neighbors) met last week and decided the most expeditious approach was to have a few representatives meet with me to express their concerns and to better understand the city's goal in the plan development and create a path forward," Tassano said in an email.

PUSD may also contract with Bay Area Traffic Solutions (BATS) to hire flaggers for traffic control around Amador during drop-off and pick-up times while work is underway.

The Board of Trustees on Tuesday did confirm an agreement with nearby Valley Community Church to allow the district "a personal non-exclusive license to use up to 32 parking spaces in the church's parking lot accessible from Del Valle Parkway during school days from approximately 7 a.m. to 6 p.m."

The short-term remedy is one of several that PUSD officials have recently worked out to address an impending shortage of more than 400 parking spaces while construction continues at Amador when classes start Aug. 12. Under the agreement, the district "may use the parking spaces in the east lot immediately adjacent to the parking garage in the church's parking lot" from Aug. 8 until Oct. 15, when the project is scheduled to finish.

District staff also recently worked out an agreement with the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority to add extra bus routes for its Wheels 605 and 611 bus routes.

Starting the first day of school, there will be "an additional, earlier inbound frequency in the morning for each of its routes 605 and 611" arriving at Amador around 6:40 a.m., except on Wednesday mornings when there is no "A" period instruction, and a second outbound afternoon trip for both routes.

Two buses will also be added to the morning and afternoon service. Student IDs will be honored on all Route 605 and Route 611 trips, including regular bell trips. The additional bus service will use approximately $40,000 from the district general fund.

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Comments

8 people like this
Posted by Kate
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Kate is a registered user.

I would like to suggest that the AVHS community affected by this 2-3 month parking issue apply common core learning methods to figure out the solution. While I’m not a math teacher, I’m thinking there must be dozens of correct answers on how to handle this.

Another solution may be to look at how Paradise High School persevered when their school, homes and town were burned to the ground!!

Hey AVHS parents, I know your kids can ace an AP test but do they have any grit? Do you have any grit? Grit is what separates the test taker from the successful person. But really, we are talking about a 2.5 month inconvenience. Get a grip and maybe some grit, too!


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 26, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

What would you call grit, Kate? There are students who have jobs and other after-school obligations that require a car. I hope the majority of students are able to use Wheels or bike or walk, but 32 parking spaces won’t be enough to address staff and student need when you have taken away over 400 spots.


11 people like this
Posted by Cookie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 26, 2019 at 4:05 pm

HOW ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION BEING DONE WEEKENDS OR NIGHTS TIL 9PM TO EXPEDITE THIS WHOLE PROJECT


19 people like this
Posted by Nightmare
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 26, 2019 at 9:59 pm

And why wasn't this "behind the scenes construction" started months ago? The District knew about this project for months. Construction of the actual work on the lot should have started on June 3. But no, the parking lot has been blocked off and empty for 4 weeks now. This will be a nightmare for the entire community and I will be shocked if it is completed by mid-October.


5 people like this
Posted by Kate
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 26, 2019 at 11:02 pm

Kate is a registered user.

Kathleen R...What is grit? It’s what some students find they have when a parent dies-that life goes on in the face of a permanent absence in their life. It’s what the students of Paradise found when their school, homes and town burned down.

What the students and parents of AVHS are faced with is a temporary inconvenience. It’s not permanent.

Kathleen R-you seem to have solutions to many problems facing students and parents in Pleasanton. What would you suggest that a student who has an after school job making frosties at the dairy tell their employer on why they may be a few minutes late to work?


14 people like this
Posted by Incompetence
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2019 at 11:16 pm

Once again the school district shows its incompetence. It could have done work "offsite" months before school ended so that the day after the last day of school, work could have commenced at once in the actual parking lot.

I have no idea what type of work could be done offsite anyway, or whether this is just some type of PR move by the District to spin that some work is actually being done somewhere.

If Amador is supposed to be a test center for the upcoming ACT and SAT tests, how in the world are people supposed to park in order to take the ACT and SAT on a Saturday? It seems as if the PUSD has never thought of that because I contacted the College Board and the organization that runs the ACT and they had no idea that the parking lot is closed.

The bottom line nothing has happened in the actual parking lot for several weeks other than the lot fenced off with a temporary fence.

It is no wonder that new schools are never built in Pleasanton.


8 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 27, 2019 at 12:59 am

While I'm sure there will be no shortage of "Incompetence Run-Amok" comments about the late start, try getting a local contractor with a proven track record and verifiable ability to bid on a public project. Let alone even show up for work on a specified date.

Chill. Unless you want us to rag you about how long your bathroom remodel took.


12 people like this
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2019 at 9:55 am

@Incomptence - I think this is 100% a PR move by PUSD. They did not properly plan this project. There is no reason that heavy construction shouldn't already be stared. The project should have been 100% ready they day school let out. This is the reason that a 4-6 week project is scheduled to take 5 months.

The district lacked any and all planning. My guess is someone realized in early 2019 that the construction had to be completed in 2019 to get whatever money they were counting on. Instead of properly planning and getting work done before summer. they put together a timeline that basically mandated that the actual construction couldn't start until almost the time school starts. Gannon even says so in the quote from this article ( "faster than anticipated, which expedited our approval from the Division of State Architects") - which means the district knew a long time ago that construction couldn't possibly start until mid-july at the earliest and apparently they weren't planning for construction to start until later. This is also the reason that they didn't start looking at ways to mitigate parking/traffic issues until March 2019.


8 people like this
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2019 at 9:58 am

@Bill - it is not a late start - the start is "faster than anticipated, which expedited our approval from the Division of State Architects" so obviously this isn't a contractor issue (at this point) but a complete lack of planning from the district. They could have been ready to start actual construction when school got out, but the proper planning wasn't there. It is that simple.


Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 27, 2019 at 10:07 am

Kate is a registered user.

To MeToo you had me at “my guess”. So basically you have no clue about anything you’re just on this blog “guessing” and stating it as if were fact?

Maybe go to the district and get some facts then return to state your case against the district.


19 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2019 at 10:07 am

In Febuary/March the District office notified the teachers and staff of AVHS by email that the construction would not start until August. The reason being that the builder was not available until then.
The rest of this information has just been lies to placate the parents of AVHS students. Just like putting up the fencing for no reason. Just like putting out notices that the state approval just came back in June. Just like this saying the steel is being fabricated off site.
Just lies to placate the parents. Just more lies from the Administration of PUSD. Why?


6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 27, 2019 at 10:48 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Kate, I was asking you to define grit in this particular case. I’m not worried about the student who may have to jog down Main to the Dairy or Inklings. What about those with a job in Dublin or tutoring across town or picking up a sibling? Employers may be gracious—“Hey, for the next two months i’ll be an hour late cuz I have to take a bus home to get my car and then drive to work.” But that student may then lose an hour of income if they can’t stay longer at work (let’s say it’s money for college) in order to fulfill other obligations like homework and studying or babysitting siblings. We can speculate how families in this community may depend on a teen.

I think what we may have is, and this is a guess: not enough planning in advance and while waiting for DSA approval; miscommunication (and inaccurate or unrealistic) to staff and families about timelines; late realization of what the loss of 400 spaces really meant; little forethought about the impact to Main St. and surrounding neighborhoods; and a sudden realization there was “free” money that would be lost if they didn’t hit the various deadlines to get it.

It’s a keystone cops scenario; funny if it wasn’t so sad.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kate
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 27, 2019 at 11:11 am

Kate is a registered user.

Kathleen R-I think you and MeToo should run for school board! I feel like your expertise in “guessing” would be very valuable to our community. No matter who screwed up, if PUSD is taking free money, blah blah blah...this is a TEMPORARY problem! The grit I’m talking about, Kathleen R, is teaching our kids solutions to temporary problems so they treat it as such and don’t go off the deep end when the problems are a lot worse! As for kids and jobs, they will need to go to their employer and discuss this face to face. And if they lose an hour here and there, maybe try to pick it up over the weekend. My guess is that this may be a very valuable learning tool for all involved on how to deal with a TEMPORARY inconvenience.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 27, 2019 at 11:35 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yes, it is temporary and there are solutions being found for most, but not all. I don’t know that I’ve seen you commenting here before. An FYI: I have 19 years experience working in the Pleasanton and Palo Alto school districts, including as a board member here; so, my guesses are pretty solid.

This isn’t just about a temporary inconvenience to thousands of our community members—2700+ students, their parents, Amador staff, Alisal families (proximity) and staff, surrounding neighborhoods, anyone driving on Main St., local businesses . . . it’s about not planning for those inconveniences. This won’t be news, hopefully, by December, but I share concerns with others here who are looking at district actions (inaction).


Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 27, 2019 at 11:48 am

Kate is a registered user.

Kathleen R-My guess is that if your “guesses” were so spot on and valuable you’d still be in a position of power in this District and In our community and not sharing your guesses on the Pleasanton Weekly blog.


22 people like this
Posted by None
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2019 at 12:56 pm

As a former project manager for Webcor. I agree with several comments here.
1)Behind the scenes work should have been done month's before school let out.
2)Because of all the issues here with parking and inconveniences, PUSD should have required the work to be done 7 days a week and at least until 9:00 pm.
3)AVHS has been out for four weeks tomorrow. If this was my project the job should have started right when school got out. This job is four weeks behind schedule.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 27, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Kate, my my. I’m retired. Aren’t we all sharing?


Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2019 at 7:49 pm

Kate - yes, exactly, that is why I made it clear that I was guessing. Is that so confusing? But based on the facts given it seems like a reasonable guess.

If we new the exact facts would there be a reason to post here? No, but nobody will provide us with the all the facts, so this is what we have to do.

I'm sorry I used this public forum to give my opinion. Is there some other wording I could have used to make it clear that I was make a guess or assumptions based on what I know (which isn't more than most people I assume, although I have been following it for a while)

And my post has nothing to do with the inconvenience. I don't really care that much. I care that there is clear lack of planning from the district. This also has nothing to do with the school board (unless this is information I am unaware of which is quite possible). I'm simply stating that a basic construction project that has an ideal window for construction, all of the prework should be planned out and completed so construction can happen in the ideal window.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 28, 2019 at 7:55 pm

Me Too:
No matter what your opinion is, it has no credibility!


Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2019 at 7:58 pm

Kate - So you are making assumptions that every student who has a job has an employer that will cooperate with the adjusted hours? Why don't you take to all the employers first and get you facts straight and then come back here and talk about the facts.



Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Michael Austin: Please explain your hostility. I've taken facts and made an informed opinion. An opinion that is not different from others and actually supported by those with even more expertise in construction timelines. My opinion was not stated as some iron clad 100% true fact, it fact I even stated with "I think" which really is implied in any post on this forum.

If you don't feel informed opinions have any credibility then your opinion has no credibility and it doesn't really matter what you say.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 28, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Me Too:
Anonymous posters have no credibility.
If you want credibility, identify yourself!
Anything short of that, your are simply another blowhard!
In simple English, you are pompous, boastful, with no credential!
"Braggart"!


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

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