News

Amador Valley lot reopens after five-month closure for solar panel project

Parking permits will be issued to seniors and juniors on lottery basis

The main Amador Valley High School parking lot reopened for business Tuesday, marking the end of a months-long waiting period for neighbors, students and faculty while seven solar panel structures and a new parking layout were added.

The prolonged closure impacted residents in the immediate area as well as the Amador community.

Work started after school ended in June and wrapped up Monday, though Pleasanton Unified School District officials stated on social media that “parking lot painting/striping will continue throughout the week as we finish the construction portion of this project.”

Principal Josh Butterfield told the Weekly on Tuesday morning that some underground work will also continue but otherwise the lot facing Santa Rita Road is now “serving its purpose” again.

More than 400 parking spaces reopened but only seniors are being issued parking permits on a lottery basis at the moment. Open spots will be for sale to seniors in the class of 2020, then more will be released later to juniors depending on availability.

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Even with on-site parking levels returning to normal, PUSD officials still “encourage our Dons to walk, roll or ride Wheels Bus to school and do our part for the environment.” The extra Wheels bus routes and temporary shuttles added during construction will eventually cease operation. A ceremony commemorating the lot's completion will be held some time in the future, according to the district.

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Amador Valley lot reopens after five-month closure for solar panel project

Parking permits will be issued to seniors and juniors on lottery basis

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 1:45 pm
Updated: Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 4:26 pm

The main Amador Valley High School parking lot reopened for business Tuesday, marking the end of a months-long waiting period for neighbors, students and faculty while seven solar panel structures and a new parking layout were added.

The prolonged closure impacted residents in the immediate area as well as the Amador community.

Work started after school ended in June and wrapped up Monday, though Pleasanton Unified School District officials stated on social media that “parking lot painting/striping will continue throughout the week as we finish the construction portion of this project.”

Principal Josh Butterfield told the Weekly on Tuesday morning that some underground work will also continue but otherwise the lot facing Santa Rita Road is now “serving its purpose” again.

More than 400 parking spaces reopened but only seniors are being issued parking permits on a lottery basis at the moment. Open spots will be for sale to seniors in the class of 2020, then more will be released later to juniors depending on availability.

Even with on-site parking levels returning to normal, PUSD officials still “encourage our Dons to walk, roll or ride Wheels Bus to school and do our part for the environment.” The extra Wheels bus routes and temporary shuttles added during construction will eventually cease operation. A ceremony commemorating the lot's completion will be held some time in the future, according to the district.

Comments

Barry
Registered user
Alisal Elementary School
on Oct 16, 2019 at 10:17 am
Barry, Alisal Elementary School
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2019 at 10:17 am
11 people like this

I’m glad solar panels were built over a parking lot to make energy and give shade. It was worth the temporary inconvenience. I’m sad that the views of the ridge are now gone from Santa Rita. I hope whenever it’s possible that the City, PUSD, and developments design buildings and plant trees that still allow beautiful scenic view corridors.


No Name
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2019 at 10:34 am
No Name, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2019 at 10:34 am
8 people like this

Julia Baum you're misinformed. Construction did not start when school got out in June. School got out at the end of May,and construction didn't start until late July. Poor planning on this job! I'm a project manager for a construction company in SF.


Rob
Birdland
on Oct 16, 2019 at 11:58 am
Rob, Birdland
on Oct 16, 2019 at 11:58 am
6 people like this

One of the worst-managed projects I've seen in this city for the 30 years I've lived here. The person(s) at the PUSD in charge of this project clearly have no idea how to run one.


Karl Aitken
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 16, 2019 at 3:14 pm
Karl Aitken, Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 16, 2019 at 3:14 pm
21 people like this

Yes, the planning phase of this project could have been better, BUT from an execution phase of the project, it went VERY WELL:
1) Wile everyone complained about driving by the project area and seeing no activity, there was actually steel fabrication being done offsite.
2) The City Traffic Dept and the School District put in place traffic mitigation plans that worked. I was not confident at the start - my Gatetree Circle neighbors and I were very worried about the impact to our neighborhood and the impact was minimal. We have the district, the city, the parents and the students to thank for this.
3) Patrick Gannon and Mike Tassano did a great job listening to our neighborhood concerns and did what they could to mitigate them.

AND MOST IMPORTANT - THIS PROJECT WAS COMPLETED ON SCHEDULE AS PROMISED!!!

So all you Pleasanton Weekly complainers should step back and actually educate yourselves on the facts and let go of all your negativity. The project is done and a pretty good job was done by all the project participants.


Ellen
Vintage Hills
on Oct 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Ellen, Vintage Hills
on Oct 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm
5 people like this

I was one of those skeptical parents thinking it was going to be a nightmare but the district did a fabulous job at traffic mitigation and communicating all of the options and routes and changes, I ended up really impressed and relieved!!

My only question now is for drop off in the loop, is it still going to require people touring around back? I was looking forward to that going back to normal because dropping off via the parking lot has gotten messy and hazardous since the lot opened.

I hope they’ll eventually put a left turn light at the loop coming north on Santa Rita, just like the one they have turning left on to Ray from Main. It allows left traffic only for a few cars then turns solid green. I think this would help mitigate the backup on SR in the mornings. Either way we’ll continue to drop off early so we don’t have to deal with the frantic last minute crazy drivers.

Well done PUSD!!


Dear Karl
Laguna Oaks
on Oct 16, 2019 at 7:47 pm
Dear Karl, Laguna Oaks
on Oct 16, 2019 at 7:47 pm
14 people like this

You are missing the key point that all of that great fabrication should have taken place off site in APRIL and MAY so installation could begin in JUNE. The optics were made worse by sitting idle until July.

Yes, the project turned out very nice. But it wreaked havoc on the AVHS community due to poor planning.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 16, 2019 at 10:07 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2019 at 10:07 pm
7 people like this

Perhaps it would help to talk more directly with parents and students. Apparently the lot is not quite finished, as promised. There is some mixup and juggling of parking slots for students. And there is a rumor (I can’t verify it beyond that) that the structures are not very solid.

There were statements work would begin the day after school let out; prefabrication could have started earlier; could be this was a lowest bidder situation, as is often the case; and it isn’t clear if this was mismanaged by one or more people, but one person is gone. All the neighbors surrounding the school, parents, students, and even the city deserve a lot of the credit for making the best of this disjointed project’s start.

Let’s hope the panels generate as much power and savings as predicted.


Karl Aitken
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 17, 2019 at 7:52 am
Karl Aitken, Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 17, 2019 at 7:52 am
4 people like this

Dear "Dear Karl"

I believe I do get the point of the complaints.

My reference to "planning phase" would include procuring funding and developing a schedule based on when funding was made available. Work can't start if you don't have the funding.

Since I do not have details on the funding timeline - I chose to be diplomatic and kind by saying this part of the project could have been better.

Declaring incompetence without all the details is not in my nature.

What really mattered to me, since my neighborhood was directly affected by the project, is that the project was completed on time, as promised. And that the traffic mitigation plans put in place worked.

There will be no more comments from me on this post as I don't care to get into any of the Pleasanton Weekly Wars that are typical in this posting space.

I say again, well done Mike, Patrick and those who were part of this project. I appreciate all the efforts these people put into the execution phase of this project.


Bill
Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 17, 2019 at 12:11 pm
Bill, Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 17, 2019 at 12:11 pm
5 people like this

I love the complaining about the timing.

Let me know the next time you sign a contract with a general contractor to get work done on your house by a specific time. And then when it gets delayed because of the GC or their subs, be sure to let us all know so we can come on the newspaper site and publicly call you out for mismanaging your project.

Those weren't school district employees. I WILL tell you were there are a lot of morons. People posting on this site.


Shanna
Amador Valley High School
on Oct 17, 2019 at 8:24 pm
Shanna, Amador Valley High School
on Oct 17, 2019 at 8:24 pm
9 people like this

Hopefully, they are planning to light the parking lot soon. It is unsafe after dark. One person almost hit someone tonight who was walking to their car because it was too dark to see them.

Safety issue for homecoming game and dance with more cars and people.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2019 at 9:10 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2019 at 9:10 pm
Like this comment

Was there lighting in the parking lot before the solar panel project?


Amador Parent
Ruby Hill
on Oct 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm
Amador Parent, Ruby Hill
on Oct 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm
6 people like this

I parked in the lot tonight. The spaces are super tight and not enough room in the lanes. I could barely squeek through where there was a truck sticking out on one side and a minivan on the other. The traffic pattern is crazy and as another poster said - no lights. With new drivers - I bet there will be a lot of fender benders.

PUSD could have done better.


Parent
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:36 pm
Parent, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:36 pm
15 people like this

Yes, there were lights before the solar panels. There were about 4 sets of 3-4 rows of very tall light posts providing illumination of the entire parking lot.

Leave it to an incompetent organization like the PUSD to forget to put in lights in a parking lot.


Parent
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm
Parent, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm
11 people like this

Once upon a time when the parking lot had lights prior to the school board removing them ----

Web Link

I can't wait to hear what excuse they will have about not having lights in the parking lot. Guesses anyone?


Sold out homecoming
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2019 at 6:03 pm
Sold out homecoming, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2019 at 6:03 pm
8 people like this

And now homecoming is sold out. Amador is way past max capacity but the administration and the school board is doing nothing about it. From overcrowded classes to running out of space for homecoming, the school is bursting. Foothill is not far behind. Pleasanton needs another high school and the builders need to pay for it. And the school board needs to stop spending money on stupid things such as laptops.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 18, 2019 at 7:28 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 18, 2019 at 7:28 pm
13 people like this

PUSD:
Why was there no planning to replace parking lot lighting following the solar panel installation?


No Name
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:13 pm
No Name, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:13 pm
3 people like this

Hello Folks,

Bill you cannot compare this project to a General Contractor or any sub's working on your home. This project was a very HIGH PROFILE job and should have been handle that way too. There is lighting underneath the solar panels. The PUSD is holding a special turning on the power ceremony at sometime in the future. Pretty stupid idea if you ask me. Why not turn the lights on now especially for safety.


No Lights?
Amador Valley High School
on Oct 20, 2019 at 9:32 pm
No Lights?, Amador Valley High School
on Oct 20, 2019 at 9:32 pm
7 people like this

Kudos to the the project being done on time. However, what the hell are the thinking with NO LIGHTS AT ALL? It is pitch dark out in the lot and very unsafe. Drove by homecoming with all of the cars in the lot and the entire lot was black. PUSD, I certainly hope you are going to do something about lighting for the safety of the students and drivers. It is very concerning having students walk to their cars and also try to find their parent's cars in the pitch dark.


Barry
Registered user
Alisal Elementary School
on Oct 21, 2019 at 12:42 pm
Barry, Alisal Elementary School
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2019 at 12:42 pm
3 people like this

We don’t need the expense of another high school. It’s more than construction, it’s administrative staffing, maintenance and other operational costs. Developers pay big fees for construction purposes but operational expense is on the district. Put money into upgrading the existing facility. Demographic changes ebb and flow school population and between two bonds, your driving seniors out who have lived here all their lives. Plus adding more fees to housing projects (plus foreign investors) are creating the affordability problem.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 21, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2019 at 2:17 pm
7 people like this

Barry, there are 2700 students in a school meant for 1800. You can’t maintenance your way through that wear and tear. Additional facilities on the Amador site only limit other activities. And this community will continue to grow in the coming years.

One set of current bonds are set to expire, which is why the board is talking about another $150MM bond on top of the $270MM we gave them in 2016. I’m saying no if they attempt it, because they haven’t added one sq. ft. of elementary classroom space despite having $65MM of the recent bond earmarked for two schools (a rebuild and new). Certainly there have been complications, but some of the delays are self inflicted.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 21, 2019 at 5:06 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 21, 2019 at 5:06 pm
1 person likes this

PUSD intended for lighting to be in place for the opening of the parking lot. Unfortunately, the contractor ordered the wrong bulbs. PUSD is currently considering temporary lightning.


Parent
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2019 at 10:08 pm
Parent, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2019 at 10:08 pm
11 people like this

In other words, PUSD did not bother to read the contract, and did not bother to ensure that the contract was adhered to prior to opening the parking lot.

I don't buy the "I bought the wrong bulbs" excuse.

The Board approved the contract that stated: "Shade structures over parking lots are required to include weather proof LED lighting on independent timers for safe pedestrian travel per Title 24. Provider shall ensure the level of night time and security lighting is not reduced as a result of the installations. Provider shall ensure that all lighting provided as part of the Facility does not negatively impact neighbors and shall be solely responsible for resolving all complaints that arise due to light pollution."

So there is no night time and security lighting and instead the PUSD Board has created a very attractive location with no lights for drug dealers and would-be criminals to hang out. Seems like student safety is at the bottom of their list.

It is PUSD's fault, not the contractors, that they chose to open up the parking lot that does not meet the contractually mandated requirements.

Does no one know how to read contracts at PUSD? Or do they just not care about student safety?


Jeff W
Birdland
on Oct 23, 2019 at 2:22 pm
Jeff W, Birdland
on Oct 23, 2019 at 2:22 pm
3 people like this

Yep, I left the football game to enter my car in the dark, how Incompetent are you guys!! Plus hardly no space to open my car door. What heard was that they narrowed it by 8’ each space. PUSD
Should be ashamed!!


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