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Menlo Park: New high school clears environmental hurdle

 

Plans to open a new high school in Menlo Park in the fall of 2018 have advanced a big step.

The board of the Sequoia Union High School District recently gave its unanimous approval to a final environmental impact report on the 400-student magnet school that will focus on technology, engineering and design.

The school will be built at 150 Jefferson Drive in the light-industrial zone of Menlo Park east of U.S. 101.

The environmental report acknowledges significant and unavoidable traffic impacts at 11 nearby intersections, but lists five mitigation measures, including a commitment by the district to implement a travel-demand-management plan, a study of public transit to the school, and participation in Menlo Park's transportation-impact-fee program.

Click here to download the report.

Board members contended that impacts are inevitable, given projections for the area as it develops, including 5,000 new residential units, 14,000 new residents and about 1,100 new students.

"This is clearly an immediate, urgent and ongoing need that the district is fulfilling," board President Alan Sarver said at the Oct. 19 meeting. "We know that there is an increasing high-density, mixed-use coming, overwhelming this region, and this is just a leading edge requirement for small schools to be embedded in new, mixed-use environments."

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Dave Boyce

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