New Kindergarten to Meet High Demand in South San Francisco | Local News

High demand and limited space for preschool places in South San Francisco has pushed a waiting list to 700 with just 134 children at three program sites, prompting officials to discuss plans for a new facility in the Westborough district.

The Parks and Recreation Department currently operates three preschool program sites, Siebecker, Westborough and Little Steps. City council met on July 28 to discuss plans for the new kindergarten which would add around 80 places. The Carter Preschool Project would include four classrooms, two student toilets adjacent to the classrooms, a third staff toilet, offices and administrative spaces, a break area for teachers, a kitchen and a support area. for staff and a play area opening onto a partially sheltered patio that would be for the exclusive use of the nursery school. It would also have an adjacent play area which would be shared by the public, but would have the exclusive use of the nursery school for approximately three hours per day. And there are two parking areas on site with around 22 parking spaces, as well as street parking around the entire space.

“We decided this location, sort of central along Carter Drive, was the best. Not only does it provide convenient access to both parking lots, but it disrupts existing park facilities as little as possible, ”said Greg Mediati, deputy director of parks and recreation.

The team explored and compared traditional and modular construction types and concluded that modular construction would be a desirable option as it can offer cost savings of between $ 1.5 million and $ 800,000 and time savings of six. three months compared to traditional construction, Mediati said.

Modular means a prefabricated building that is fabricated off-site, delivered and installed.

“The type of module we’re looking at uses the same types of materials and the only real difference is that it’s made in a store rather than on-site,” said Greg Hielsberg, project manager and architect at Ittner Architects.

One of the downsides is that it would be harder to redesign.

“There are definitely size limitations as to what can be transferable from where it’s built to the actual project site,” Hielsberg said. “If it’s just a traditional design under construction, you have the flexibility and the ability to make a difference, even when we’re in construction documents. It’s a little different with the modular because we basically end up at the end of the design development.

Deputy Mayor Mark Nagales mentioned concerns about modularity as there would be no flexibility for use and space.

“If we decide to go with the modular layout, we have to do it right,” he said.

He also raised concerns about the potential noise from the playground.

“We certainly considered this when we looked at the locations, which was one of the factors in not placing this directly next to these residential properties to the east,” said Philip Vitale, deputy director of Capital Projects.

The location of the project was also decided to meet a high need based on its data, Mediati said. However, city councilor Buenaflor Nicolas said she would like the next kindergarten to be in a more equitable area.

“If you look at the last census tract, it shows that the Westborough area has the highest average income,” she said.

Board member James Coleman said he would like to use local unionized construction workers where possible to ensure they receive fair wages and use it as a way to invest in the community.

The project was originally introduced to target three classrooms, but was changed to four after Mayor Mark Addiego said he preferred to create more space. Along with the fourth classroom, the entire facility is designed to accommodate up to 80 children, with 20 students in each classroom of just under 900 square feet. Classrooms will have a storage area, refrigerator, sink for adults and children for food and craft activities.

Staff recommend further exploring modular construction with a focus on cost and schedule savings, and confirming product availability and the modular procurement process. And it will request a mid-year or stand-alone budget amendment for a revised amount of the project budget.

He plans to use the Child Care Impact Fee to fund the project which currently has a balance of $ 6.7 million. And it is expected by the end of fiscal year 2023 or 2024 to have $ 15.7 million.

The department works with SIM Architects to help create a master plan for child care. And he is currently conducting research and interviews with stakeholders to better understand the lay of the land. He plans to return to city council with a draft plan by December 2021 or January 2022.

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