The San Francisco Unified School District is considering adding a new school at one of five sites designated for community facilities within the Hunters Point and Candlestick developments.
The project by development giant Lennar Urban includes more than 12,000 units of housing, 885,000 square feet of retail space, 3 million square feet of office and research space, and 350 acres of public open space and parks. There are also five parcels of land totaling 8 acres that will be dedicated for community needs, including the school district, plus police and fire departments.
District officials last month told the Board of Education’s buildings, grounds and services committee that one of the community sites is likely going to be used for a new school.
“We’re at the early stages of this, but there is a possibility that the district would create new facilities on one or more of those parcels of land to meet the increasing demand for schools,” said Myong Leigh, deputy superintendent for policy and operations.
Initial plans are for an elementary school, but the district is analyzing data to refresh its demographic projection to determine how many school age children would be moving into Hunters Point or Candlestick, Leigh said.
The Planning Department and SFUSD late last year established a working group to keep school officials informed on new housing projects. After seeing declining enrollment at least since the 1980s until the mid-2000s, the number of elementary, middle and high school students are expected to grow in the next several years amid The City’s major development boom.
The most drastic projection is perhaps for 2025, which shows a 5,000-student increase at the high school level for a total of more than 23,000 high school students in 10 years. However, it is still unknown how many families will move to the Hunters Point and Candlestick areas.
“Initially we think the greatest demand would be for elementary school seats, but we have to analyze it still,” Leigh said.
Meanwhile, the SFUSD plans to open its first new school in nearly a decade next month, Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School. That school will be located at the same Bayview site as the old middle school, which closed in 2011 after years of high staff turnover and low student achievement.
The new school is twice the size of the old one and will offer the only middle school science laboratory in The City. The new school will also include a digital-media lab, and a “maker space” equipped with
tools and materials that will allow students to develop and design prototypes.