While a ceremony to mark progress in the construction of the new Laurel School, Upper Campus in Menlo Park will be held this week, it appears that crowding will temporarily get worse for Laurel students before it get better.
Construction of the new school at 275 Elliott Drive in the Willows area is behind schedule because of a delay in the "plan approval process with the state," said Ahmad Sheikholeslami, the district's chief business and operations officer.
The new school is not scheduled to be completed until Oct. 17, six weeks after school starts on Sept. 1, he said.
That means the six classes of third-graders, five classes of fourth-graders and three classes of fifth-graders who are to attend the new school will have to squeeze into the existing Laurel campus (which the district is calling Laurel School, Lower Campus) for those six weeks, district officials said.
The district estimates there will be about 700 students at the school for those six weeks, before 320 peel off for Laurel School, Upper Campus. Eventually each school is expected to have about 360 students.
A "Golden Beam Ceremony" will celebrate the completion of the steel structure of the building and the closing in of the exterior walls at noon Friday, April 1, at the school, 275 Elliott Drive in Menlo Park, the site of the former O'Connor School. Students, staff, parents and community members will be invited to sign a "golden beam" and tour the project.
The new school will serve third- to fifth-grade students in the attendance area of the current kindergarten to third-grade Laurel School.
Mr. Sheikholeslami said all available spaces at Laurel, including the staff room and multi-purpose room, will be used for teaching during the six weeks until the new campus opens.