Measure X - New Gym & Classrooms Project

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May 2, 2019

Dear Abbott Families:

I am writing with some updates on the construction of Abbott’s new gym, locker rooms and classrooms.   Below is some basic information about both the new gym and construction and some answers to questions that you may have:

General Contractor:  Rodan Builders, a Burlingame-based General Contractor, has extensive experience on school construction projects.

Happening now:   Site mobilization started during Spring Break with the installation of construction fencing which separates the construction area from the school area to ensure the safety of students.  The work included installing a new student entry gate from Alameda that leads directly into the school area and a drive gate for entry into the construction area.  Site grading for the foundations is underway now.  Trenching has started for laying the foundation this week—good progress is being made thanks both to the contractor and to favorable weather conditions.

The Building:  The new facility will include a gym and boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, staff offices, and restrooms for students in the locker rooms and for the public in the lobby area of the gym.  The gym and locker rooms will be approximately 13,500 square feet. These will all be located on the 36th Avenue side of the PE/blacktop area.  Two classrooms will be constructed on top of the new locker rooms and will be adjacent to the current Music Building. 

Anticipated Construction Time:  Weather permitting, the District and the General Contractor project that the gym, locker rooms and classrooms will be ready for occupancy in July 2020. 

What are the construction work hours?  The actual work will adhere to the City of San Mateo’s permitted work hours for construction noise which are between 7am and 7pm Monday-Friday.  The contractor does not anticipate that they will need to work on the weekends, but if they do ever need to work on weekends, it will be done within the city’s permitted hours—9am-5pm on Saturdays and 12noon-4pm on Sundays.

How has the work affected student drop off and pick up?  Students have the same routes of travel as they do now to enter and leave the Abbott campus.  The District and General Contractor have worked together to keep the Alameda access free from trucks during our drop off and pick up times.    Parents may find it more convenient to use side streets for dropping off and picking up students to avoid the traffic around the school.

It would be very helpful for staff if parents who use the drop off in the entry to the parking area don’t pull into the parking spaces during drop off so that staff will be able to park on campus easily.  Thank you for your cooperation on this.

We have looked at whether or not to open the Fernwood pedestrian gate in the morning and we have decided not to do so at this time because of the amount of traffic on Fernwood in the morning and the safety risk this could pose for students. 

What is the impact on lunch and noontime activities during construction?  There is no impact from construction on the lunch pick up and eating areas.  We have opened our existing gym at lunch for students who want to play basketball, and the gym is supervised during lunch. 

What is the impact on the PE Program?    The PE staff is using a variety of spaces for PE instruction during construction.  They include using the existing gym, the blacktop area on the school side of the construction fencing and a fitness room that the PE staff has created.  

What is the plan for emergencies and evacuation during construction?   We have adjusted our emergency plans so that classes are assembling for evacuation drills on a different portion of the blacktop during construction.  We had an evacuation drill right after spring break to familiarize staff and students with the new locations for evacuation.

Will instruction and testing be affected by noise during construction?    The classrooms that are closest to the construction work are the two music classrooms and the four portable classrooms on the blacktop.  We have been monitoring the noise impact on these rooms.  For the moment, we have not had any reports from teachers in these rooms that the noise levels have adversely affected instruction.  We will continue to monitor these rooms as the project moves into the actual construction phase.  Although we do not have any current plans to move any classrooms due to noise, we are prepared to relocate a classroom to ensure quiet during state testing which begins on May 20th.

 What if I have other questions or concerns?  Please let us know so that we can address them.


Joe Hadley, Principal