Frequently Asked Questions: Addison childcare portables

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 8:24pm

Dear Neighbors,

I received several emails during the past few days expressing concerns and asking questions about the construction project at Addison School.  I met with our Site Council Chair, Project Manager, and PAUSD Bonds Director yesterday to discuss.  Rather than responding individually to each of you, I thought it would be more helpful to send a single, comprehensive response to the group.

First, I’d like to answer the questions that were brought to my attention:

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Why are the childcare facilities (AKC) so high; why was the ground not excavated so that their elevation could be reduced?
The portables are currently sitting on blocks and have yet to be set in their final location and connected.  This is scheduled to occur later this week. The elevation of the portables and the new two-story building is being raised approximately two to three feet, to make them level with the elevation of the current Administration Building and thus more accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Excavating and lowering their elevation would have made them less accessible, requiring more ramps and handrails on the site between the new and existing buildings.  The foundation that the new AKC building is sitting on will actually be level with the rest of the campus once construction is completed. The field and hardcourt areas adjacent to these buildings will also be raised in Phase 4 to make this adjustment complete, which will also improve the drainage on the play fields when completed. While the height difference is distinct now with just the portables being set, it should be diminished once the new building and surrounding areas are raised. We will be looking at ways to reduce visual impact of this height difference along Lincoln, the low point of the campus as we move forward.

How long is “Temporary” and will these AKC buildings be in position for years to come?
The Master Plan for the site permanently places AKC in this location.  These buildings are not regarded as temporary and we envision that they will remain in this place for as long as there is a need for After-school Childcare.

What does the anonymous donor think of the childcare buildings?
The donor approved the plan for the facility as submitted, prior to making the full gift for the Addison modernization.

What mitigation has been planned? 
The School Site Council is considering a variety of options, including exterior painting, wood paneling, landscaping, tree planting, fencing, etc.  The role of the Site Council is outlined below along with information about how to provide input to the Council.

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In terms of communication, we plan to continue posting information on the Addison Website- construction link where all members of the Addison community will have common access to it.  The most updated information can be found on the updates page  and link to the four phases of the project which shows the location of the new AKC portables.  However, in viewing the Construction Overview pages, I agree that additional images should be included that provide visual elevations of the AKC.  I have requested that the construction team and architect prepare updated drawings to post on the website. 

Additionally, we will have our second and third planned general community meetings to discuss construction on January 16, 2019 and April 17, 2019.  Each of these meetings will start at 5:30 pm in the School Library.  We proactively sent a notice of meeting for the September 19, 2018 meeting through CPNA, Addison Neighborhood group and Next Door.  However, there is a request for additional notification so a written notice that will provide a list of upcoming meetings, information about providing input to the school, and a link to the website where the public can access updates will be sent to residents along the four streets:

  • Webster Street, between Lincoln and Addison
  • Lincoln Street, between Webster and Middlefield
  • Middlefield Road, between Lincoln and Addison
  • Addison Street, between Middlefield and Webster

There was also a question about whether neighbors are expected to access the website for updates and the simple answer is yes- please check the website for updates, attend the scheduled community meetings, and/or attend our monthly School Site Council meetings in order to provide input.

In partnership with PAUSD, the Addison School Site Council is the group that has the responsibility to make recommendations related to the implementation of the facilities project. They have already started discussing a variety of ideas to mitigate the impact of the project to the exterior of the property such as fencing, landscaping (trees, hedges), exterior finishes/ colors and welcomes your ideas.  The Council meets in the School Library at 2:45 pm on the third Wednesday of the month and its meetings are open to the public.  Along with the community meetings, these meetings would be the forum for neighbors to share their ideas, so please either plan to attend or send your ideas to Peter Burchys pburchyns@sbcglobal.net at least 2 weeks in advance of the meetings. The future meetings are:

  • October 17
  • November 28 (Note: this is a 4th Wednesday, due to Thanksgiving)
  • December – no meeting
  • January 16
  • February 20
  • March 20
  • April 17
  • May 15

In closing, we are doing our best to complete a complex project that serves an entire community, various segments of which have differing perspectives, values and needs.  Our resources, particularly those provided by the generous anonymous donor, are significant but not unlimited.  In particular, our school site is small (the smallest in the District), which places many constraints upon us. 

Our vision for the Addison project is to create a flexible learning environment that nurtures curiosity, creativity, and play.  We know we are not perfect, especially when we have to make difficult decisions among competing interests, but we are always open to respectful and constructive feedback about the project and our implementation of it. 

Thank you,

Amanda Boyce
Principal
Addison Elementary School
(650) 322- 5935

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