It’s new (elementary) school time in Burlingame

Two Burlingame elementary schools are getting some needed growing room.

Lincoln and McKinley elementary schools will each receive a new building with six and eight additional classrooms, respectively, to address the enrollment growth in the district.

“Over the last several years, we’ve had a large demographic growth,” said Robert Clark, assistant superintendent of business services for the Burlingame School District. “And we will continue to grow in the next five to seven years. This is a good opportunity to expand.”

The new classroom buildings are part of the school district’s $56 million facilities program, mostly funded through $48.3 million in Proposition A bond funds approved by local voters in 2007 to improve school facilities and bolster science, computer and instructional technology in the schools.

Lincoln Principal Diane Garber said kindergarten enrollment has grown in the past few years.

She said typically there are 80 kindergarten students enrolled each year, but in the past two years, that number has doubled and the school has added a third kindergarten class.

The campus added a third portable classroom this school year, and the new building will be a welcome addition, Garber said.

“We need it,” she said. “The district overall has experienced growth. This is our way of addressing it long-term.”

The Burlingame Elementary School District has 2,650 students enrolled at the district’s five elementary schools and one middle school, which is 200 more than the number enrolled just two years ago, Clark said.

A demographics study for the district shows the growth will continue, Clark said. The two additional buildings will accommodate most of the growth, but not all.

“At some point, we’re not going to be able to sustain the growth,” Clark said. “It’s too much for us. We’ve already met the demographics projected for October 2008.”

Clark did not know why the district was growing because there are no new housing projects under construction or planned in the city. He said theories have circulated around the idea that the economy and favorable interest rates have made buying a home easier for first-time home buyers and empty-nesters taking advantage of the economy to sell.

McKinley’s addition — a two-story, eight-classroom building — is estimated to cost $4.8 million.

The new buildings for both elementary schools are in the design phase and are expected to be completed in time for fall 2011.

Lincoln’s $3.6 million addition is also two stories. The new building, with six classrooms, will house the fourth- and fifth-graders, Garber said.

Other facility projects in the district program that are in the works include roof replacements, classroom modernizations, new phone systems and wireless networks.  Improvements are scheduled for the Franklin and Osberg fields.  Additionally, Burlingame Intermediate will receive upgrades to its auditorium and music classrooms, according to district documents.

 

Cash behind the new additions

Where the Burlingame School District is finding the money to build new buildings at McKinley and Lincoln elementary schools:

$56 million: Burlingame School District's facilities program

$48.3 million: Proposition A bond funds for district facilities improvements passed by voters in 2007

$4.8 million: Estimated cost for a new eight-classroom building for McKinley

$3.6 million: Estimated cost for new six-classroom building for Lincoln

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