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Low Enrollment from New Development Pushes Back Opening of the New Lila Bringhurst Elementary School
Posted 5/13/19

While construction will soon be complete, enrollment projections for the new Lila Bringhurst Elementary School show there are currently not enough students to justify opening for the 2019-20 school year. At its May 8 meeting, the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board of Trustees approved an enrollment threshold of approximately 160 students necessary to open the school, the District’s first new school to be built in 25 years.


Based upon housing estimates from developers, who are building 4,000 housing units collectively, there should be enough students residing in the surrounding development to open Bringhurst in time for the 2020-21 school year.


“The cost of opening and staffing a new facility with fewer than expected students would be over $1 million a year - not including operational costs,” said Dr. Kim Wallace, FUSD Superintendent. “The most fiscally responsible option at this time is to delay opening the school, which will actually be less disruptive at this point than trying to open without enough students.”


The housing complexes being built in South Fremont, near the Warm Springs BART station, are under the complete purview of several developers, who began this joint project more than five years ago. They entered into an agreement with FUSD to build an elementary school on the property, paying for the majority of the project.


The building is nearing completion and would be ready to house students this fall; however, developers report the construction and sale of new units has been delayed due to inclement weather and problems with the connection of utilities. This has resulted in very few of the units being occupied and, consequently, not enough students projected to enroll in the school prior to the August opening of the 2019-20 school year.


Students currently residing in the new development will attend FUSD schools according to the District’s existing attendance areas where space is available until the opening of Bringhurst Elementary.


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