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.