August 3, 2013

What should you do if your schools are overcrowded?

We know! We know! The answer is build more houses!

Fremont school officials warn of worse overcrowding if development goes ahead

130802-patterson-aerialBy Chris De Benedetti, The Argus
POSTED:   08/03/2013 12:00:00 AM PDT

FREMONT — Builders of the Patterson Ranch subdivision are expected to break ground next year, but school district officials fret that its 500 new homes will add more students than nearby schools can handle, worsening the Ardenwood neighborhood schools’ already major overcrowding problem.

"Our goal is to provide neighborhood school seats for kids, so that they can attend school close to where they live, as opposed to being shipped across town," said Fremont school superintendent James Morris. "We don’t want to tell families that their children have to go to different schools."

But that’s exactly what might happen to families who will buy homes in Patterson Ranch, where the nearest elementary schools already are overflowing. The district’s newest K-12 campus was built a quarter-century ago.

Student enrollment in the district’s 41 schools is 33,000, and steadily rising. Last year alone, Fremont Unified increased by 600 students, district officials said. That was a sharp spike from the past half decade, when enrollment grew 300 students each year. Rising enrollment can be "a good problem," Morris said, but it also poses severe challenges to North Fremont parents.

130802-patterson-classroom70% of Fremont residents, according to Friends of Coyote Hills, are against more development near Coyote Hills. That’s why all five Fremont City Council Members okayed building another 500 homes in the 100 acre area (marked in red on the map we included and the Murky News didn’t).

One thing we found interesting is the family selling the land is only being asked for $6 million for the school district, while it will cost $22 million to build another school for the new homes.  This sounds like a great deal, as long as you’re not a) the Fremont School District or b) living in Fremont (unless your name is Patterson).

Like they said, “a good problem.” Can’t wait for the overbidding!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:09 am

9 Responses to “What should you do if your schools are overcrowded?”

  1. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Residents, whether they are from Fremont or Palo Alto, tend to be against new developments, always citing the same reasons (schools, traffic…).

    Why should the developer pay more than $6M anyway? 500 new homes represent maybe $2.5M property tax income every year (assuming $400k average house price), a big part of it going to schools.

  2. Real Estater Says:

    That’s not true. I’m not against new development in Fremont. We need new housing to accommodate the incomers with suitcases of cash.

  3. madhaus Says:

    NIMBYs are always delighted to see development in someone else’s back yard, just not in their own. Otherwise they’d be NIABYs or BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone). So, thanks for demonstrating the truth of PG’s comment in #1 above. Appreciated!

  4. KikiSC Says:

    And after hundreds more families buy and move in, there will be an unfortunate “water shortage” that no one could have possibly ever anticipated and people will have mandatory water reductions. Because who needs quality of life when you can have strain on all the shared resources?

  5. Real Estater Says:


    You have trouble sticking to the topic? Aren’t we talking about Fremont in this thread?

  6. nomadic Says:

    RE, did you move to Fremont?

  7. Real Estater Says:


  8. madhaus Says:

  9. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Five years ago Real Estater was saying:

    We don’t need these developers. All they do is build high-density housing that congests our traffic and crowds the schools.

    I could probably pralay a few more links if I had the time.

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