Posted by Kristin Duriseti, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm
Thank you for running your editorial supporting the preservation of our magnificent heritage Oak trees slated to be replaced by a proposed parking lot on the Oak Knoll School campus. However, I would like to point out that the neighbors do not expect the School Board “to design the school site according to [our] precise wishes.” The original proposal presented to the community prior to the June 2006 Bond vote indicated that all new construction would be at the rear of the campus. The decision to completely reverse direction on all accounts was made prior to the first public meeting in March 2007. Despite assertions to the contrary, alternatives exist for a “win-win” solution that meets the stated operational and educational objectives of the school board and the interests of the community. We are advocating in support of 1) saving just one of the seven healthy heritage trees destined for removal, 2) protecting the safe transit of students who walk and bike to school, 3) restructuring the existing parking lot on Oak Knoll Lane to meet staff needs, 4) relocating the new multipurpose building to the rear of the campus, and 5) building single-story, lower grade classrooms at the front of the campus. The questions raised by Menlo Park city staff report lend credence to our claims. The School Board should realize that we raise legitimate concerns that affect our community, not simply the immediate neighbors.