Creekside problems continue
It's been a while since we brought you an update about the goings-on at the Creekside construction site and the related oddities at the school board. Suffice it to say, things are not exactly going swimmingly. So, without further adieu, and in no particular order:
- Board Member Steven Miller passed away. The school board sparred over appointing someone as an interim replacement or holding a special election. The Trustees eventually agreed to let the voters decide via a special election. It will be held in November 2023. In the meantime, the potential for 3-3 split votes among the 6 Trustees remains.
- Construction at Creekside was temporarily halted by the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) so an asbestos site analysis could be conducted and documented as a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA).
- The PEA has been submitted to the school board, which has to hold a public hearing. The public hearing was scheduled, then abruptly cancelled without explanation last week. The hearing will be held later.
- The DTSC has instructed that the buildings, once built, cannot be occupied until another Site Assessment is conducted. This could interrupt the school district's proposed schedule for classes to begin at Creekside.
- The school district held a construction ribbon-cutting event.
- The lawsuit over the school district's apparent failure to tell Measure P school bond voters about the project, while also not engaging the Bond Oversite Committee as promised to voters, is moving forward. The school district has hired two expensive law firms to fight the lawsuit.
- Though the normal procedure is to "balance cuts and fills", a TON of dirt has been removed from the site, raising questions as to whether the dirt was contaminated by asbestos, where the dirt went, etc. No doubt the roots of this expense are the relatively tiny size of the middle school campus, the need to level the athletic field while extending the field far into the flood plain, and the school district's steadfast refusal to make better use of a crowded site by using a two story design (like Arden MS and Dyer Kelly ES) instead of the architect's 1-story, cookie-cutter design used for both the Arcade and Creekside sites.
- School district staff have proposed a narrow strip of land immediately alongside the creekbed as an easement for the public to travel and from the Creekside Nature Area from the Belport side. The easement will be considered further on May 16th at the Fulton-El Camino Rec & Park District board meeting.
- School district staff showed a Creekside neighbor a drawing indicating a pedestrian gate from the school's basketball courts into the Nature Area easement, saying it is there so students can be dropped off and picked up on Lacy Lane. Residents of Lacy Lane are largely unaware of this.
- The school district has finally released boundary maps showing middle school attendance areas. We have posted about that aspect here.