Almanac

Schools - July 28, 2010

Big plans at Sacred Heart schools

by Dave Boyce

Redesigned sports fields and new classroom buildings for the elementary and middle schools are coming to Sacred Heart Schools, a private Catholic school complex for about 1,200 students along Valparaiso Avenue in Atherton.

The Atherton City Council, in consecutive 3-0 votes on July 21, approved a final environmental impact report for the school complex's master plan, and a conditional use permit to begin five months of work on playing fields and a parking lot.

Council members Elizabeth Lewis and Charles Marsala recused themselves and did not vote because they both live in close proximity to the school.

The initial phase, set to begin in August, will extend a parking lot near the corner of Park Lane and Elena Avenue, and relocate, realign and rebuild the baseball, soccer and multi-purpose fields, according to the staff report.

The fields will have synthetic grass surfaces to sidestep the muddy conditions of winter and spring, the report said. The project includes a concession stand with restrooms, lockers and a storage closet.

The campus master plan describes several changes, including destruction of the Morey science building; replacement of five lower- and middle-school buildings with four new buildings, two of which will be two-story; a new "mini" tennis court, and a new gymnasium.

The changes to St. Joseph's lower and middle schools represent about 80,500 square feet of new construction and will include a new library, a new assembly hall and performing arts classrooms, administrative offices and a chapel.

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