Menlo Park: New Laurel School Upper Campus is open


Menlo Park has a brand new school. On Monday, 300 students moved into their new Laurel School Upper Campus. While they were still sharing their new space with a few construction workers, all appeared to go smoothly.

A weekend of rain delayed the completion of the school's play structure, and their playing field won't be ready until grass grows in this spring, but students appeared to have plenty to do on their blacktop play area and covered outdoor picnic tables.

The newest Menlo Park City School District school serves third- to fifth-graders who had been squeezed onto the Laurel School Lower Campus site since classes opened Sept. 1.

The students are from the Laurel School attendance area. Before the new school was built, students attended Laurel until third grade and then went to Encinal school for fourth and fifth grade.

The public can see the new school on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The public grand opening will serve double-duty as a celebration of Laurel School winning a National Blue Ribbon Schools award. Laurel School Upper Campus is located at 275 Elliott Drive in Menlo Park's Willows neighborhood.

The new school has 16 classrooms, two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) labs, a music room, library and a multi-use gym.

The school also has a covered eating area, spaces that can be shared by teachers for collaborative activities, and offices. Outside, the school will have a playground, running track and a baseball and soccer field.

It was built with proceeds of a $23 million bond measure approved by more than 75 percent of the voters in 2013.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


24 people like this
Posted by Don't Shill
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 18, 2016 at 1:26 pm

I'm thrilled that MPCSD has a fine, modern campus. But let's be honest:

a) Not on time. It is months late. Not the end of the world, these things happen, but late nonetheless. It opened Monday ready or not

b) The field is not waiting for Spring for grass to grow. It is STILL A CONSTRUCTION SITE. This is northern California. Grass grows fine in the Winter. Particularly if it is planted ON TIME which is was not

c) The City of Menlo Park FAILED to be ready on time. The intersection of Menalto and O'Connor is still a construction zone. Hazardous vertical gaps have been temporarily patched and coned which only blocks the kids and the cars making it MORE dangerous than before. Due to the incomplete work (I hope) it flooded in the rain over the weekend. Grades are incorrect, drains not working.

d) The playground was delayed by rain? Really? I guess rain in October is a huge surprise that couldn't be expected. That work couldn't be scheduled any earlier.

e) The school district continued to violate Menlo Park City rules (to which they are legally entitled apparently but must bear the consequences of angry citizens) by doing heavy construction starting at 7am (6:30 even when heavy trucks made deliveries in the residential neighborhood) every day including Saturdays. And continued on Sunday even to be 'on time'

Note to MPCSD representatives who might read this: The citizens of this city are wildly supportive of the excellent education you provide. But the attitude toward us (citizens, taxpayers and neighbors) in terms of sneaking bad tax measures into expensive special elections and disregard for community standards in your construction projects bring a cost. Shape up.

10 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 18, 2016 at 3:17 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

I guess anyone can find something to complain about. Best of all an't even use a real time. Guess this is the new way of life in the area, complain about anything and everything. How sad.

4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 19, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Don't Shill , I hope you send MPCSD a thank you card if and when you decide to sell your million dollar home...

4 people like this
Posted by Clunge
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Shill-- I agree that the project was late- not on time. It's a shame the district can't admit when that happens. Bathe same thing happened at Hillview- and the field there is still an embarrassment. -- goals areas higher than midfield and the slanted basketball courts. Either way, we're fortunate to have such lovely campuses for our children and city.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Couple brings Chinese zongzi to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 5,917 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 9 comments | 1,717 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,442 views

"Better" Dads and "Re-invigorated" Moms: Happier Couples
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,145 views

Bobby in Naziland: A Tale of Flatbush
By Stuart Soffer | 2 comments | 521 views


Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More