Tuesday, December 13, 2011

School Facilities Information

The following information relates to proposed facilities projects at Crawford High School and Mann Middle School and to the impacts on the surrounding neighborhood. The comment space/link following this summary (bottom of page) is a place where the schools' neighbors can discuss the projects and their possible impact on the surrounding community. The summary includes contact information so neighbors can submit responses to public officials. Recent comments are listed in the right hand column along with links to websites and documents with more information.

Select the link above to view the Recommended Master Plan for the Crawford and Mann campuses.This plan proposes relocating the baseball and football fields. The new location for the football field is at Trojan Avenue and Sharron Place, where the baseball field and tennis courts are now. The new location for the baseball/softball field is on Trojan Avenue between 56th Street and 58th Street, where the football field is now. The new location for the tennis courts is on the north side of Trojan Avenue across from the relocated football field.

The proposal includes installing stadium lights at the Crawford football field. Crawford's football field has not had lights before. Recently installed lights for the Hoover High School football field sit on 90 and 100 foot tall poles. Select the following link to view a photo of the Hoover High Stadium Lights. During facilities planning meetings for Crawford and Mann, architects mentioned the availability of lighting systems that focus light more within the facility and reduce the light that shines into the surrounding community.

The Recommended Master Plan proposes raised tennis courts on a deck above student parking, but at school facilities planning meetings, planners and architects advised residents that the school district is unlikely to fund raised tennis courts. Subtracting spaces to make room for ground level tennis courts, the plan includes 400 to 500 parking spaces for Mann Middle School and Crawford High School.

The Colina Del Sol Pool and Promise Hospital have public parking within walking distance of the schools and sports facilities.

In addition to educational and extra-curricular activities, school facilities are open to public access in accordance with the California Civic Center Act (Education Code Section 49060 et seq.). The San Diego Unified School District permits use of school facilities by organizations, clubs and associations formed for a variety of purposes, including recreation. Select the following link to learn more about SDUSD Community Facility Use.

On May 10, 2011, the San Diego Unified School District voted to exempt school facilities projects from local zoning ordinances. This exemption includes Crawford High School stadium and sports facilities improvements. As a result, these facilities will not be submitted for planning review by the City. To learn more, read the San Diego City Attorney's August 9, 2011 Memorandum on this question.

With support from some residents around Crawford and Point Loma High Schools, a group of Hoover High School neighbors have challenged the School District's use of Prop S bond funds for athletic facilities, including the installation of stadium lights. Filing as Taxpayers For Accountable School Bond Spending, this group has filed an appeal to an initial judgement in favor of the School District. To learn more about this legal challenge, visit the website for Taxpayers For Accountable School Bond Spending (TFASBS).

As neighbors, we might not always agree, but whatever your opinion is about this or any other issue, the most important message we can send to public officials is that we care about something. Public officials can only know we care about something if we contact them. Use the following information to contact public officials and let them know what you think about facilities plans for Crawford High School and Mann Middle School.

Board of Education Office
San Diego Unified School District
4100 Normal Street, Room 2231
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 725-5550

Board of Education Members
Members of the Board of Education are nominated by geographic sub-districts and elected by the entire school district, so all of the Board Members represent all district residents.

Shelia Jackson: Sub-district E (Including Crawford High and Mann Middle Schools)

John Lee Evans: Sub-district A

Kevin Beiser: Sub-district B

Scott Barnett: Sub-district C

Richard Barrera: Sub-district D

Facilities Planning and Construction Department
Physical Plant Operations Center
4860 Rufner Street
San Diego, CA  92111-1522
Tel: 858-637-3604
Email: FacilitiesInfo@sandi.net

Communications Office - Prop S
Tel: 619-725-7252
Email: PropSinfo@sandi.net

The City Council does not oversee schools, but it is responsible for city planning and it is involved with joint use of school facilities by the City Recreation Department.

Council Member Marti Emerald
202 "C" Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6677
Fax: (619) 238-1360
Email: martiemerald@sandiego.gov

1 comment:

  1. Please, post your comments to the facilities proposal for Crawford High School and Mann Middle School. In particular, what is your response to the plan to install stadium lights at the Crawford football field? Your comments will help neighbors write their response to the public officials listed above.

    As a neighbor of Crawford's current football field, I don't want stadium lights installed because I want my neighborhood to stay quiet after dark. Besides this, the school cannot provide security for spectators walking to the field from overflow parking in the neighborhood, so the School District should not install lighting for large night-time events. With or without stadium lights, the design of new school facilities should minimize their impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

    If the School District insists on installing stadium lighting at the football field, the design should minjmize the light that leaks into the surrounding neighborhood. Architects at facilities planning meetings mentioned lighting systems that keep light contained within the facility, and this kind of system should be used if stadium lights are unavoidable. The School district should not install lights on the kind of tall poles that now dominate the landscape around Hoover High School.

    Design of the sound system for athletic facilities should minimize noise in the surrounding neighborhood. Neighbors can hear the current PA system at the football field loud and clear, even when the volume is at a moderate setting. The impact from new sound systems should not be more than background noise. This should apply to all the facilities, including the baseball field.

    The preferred plan for Crawford High School should add parking along Sharron Place around and under the west side bleachers of the proposed stadium. The proposed 400 to 500 parking spaces at the Crawford and Mann campuses will not accommodate large events. Adding parking spaces on Sharron Place will reduce the impact of overflow parking in the surrounding residential neighborhood.

    The planning and design process should include written agreements to use the parking lots at Colina Pool and Promise Hospital for large events. Without written agreements, these lots cannot be considered part of the parking plan. Current planners and administrators won't be around when the lots are needed for large events, and verbal assurances are never binding.

    The football stadium's seating should be limited by the neighborhood's capacity to absorb overflow parking. Estimates of the neighborhood's parking capacity should be based on an accurate count of on-street parking places, and realistic assumptions about the number of spaces taken up by residents, the number of passengers in each car, and how far away drivers will willingly park before they begin to block residents' driveways. It's unwise to add conflicts over parking to the emotionally charged atmosphere that surrounds sporting events.

    I don't like the School District exempting its projects from local zoning review when the California Civic Center Act requires public access to the facilities. In an August 9 memorandum, the San Diego City Attorney states, "School Districts may vote to exempt themselves from local zoning ordinances if the proposed use is for classroom facilities." But, these school facilities will also be used by private groups for purposes including recreation. I'd like to know how local zoning restrictions apply to school facilities that are available to private groups under the Civic Center Act.

    This is how I plan to respond to the School District and Council Member Emerald. I look forward to reading my neighbors' comments.