Concerns over redevelopment of Burlingame school

April 23, 2013 6:36:03 PM PDT
Tuesday was the groundbreaking for the newest school in Burlingame in 50 years. But even as Burlingame leaders came out to celebrate, some in the community are sounding the alarm.

Declining enrollment forced officials to close Hoover Elementary School in the 1970s, but that's all changed now.

"This summer alone we have over 200 students that are coming to the Burlingame school district over and above what was predicted three years ago," said Burlingame Schools Superintendent Maggie Macisaac, Ph.D.

Hoover school straddles the border of Burlingame and Hillsborough. Some neighbors don't want the school back because narrow streets and sidewalks can't handle more traffic in and out.

"This is a very narrow little street, all the streets leading into it are very tight and getting kids in and out of here every day is a big concern," said Hillsborough resident Larry Gavin.

Gavin is one of 20 neighbors who have filed suit against the district to stop the redevelopment of the school. Others say cars go too fast through the hills.

"They speed, as soon as they stop at that stop sign they go fast. We have had some near misses with our dogs," said Burlingame resident Yvonne McCarthy.

Canyon Road is one of the main routes driving into Hoover school. Driving it requires your full attention. There are lots of twists, turns and bridges -- a lot of neighbors say this is no place for a kid to be walking.

"I have been traversing this canyon with my kids for the last 15 years and I end up with near misses every day," said Burlingame resident Patrick McCann.

The district says its studies have found no safety issues; others say more schools are needed.

"I think it's good for the neighborhood because the schools around here are so overloaded," said Hillsborough resident Mai Cooke.

A restraining order filed by neighbors to stop the redevelopment of the school was rejected by a judge last week. Another hearing on the matter will be held next week. For now, the new school project is on track.


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