BRENTWOOD -- If residential growth continues to rebound in far East Contra Costa as planned, the Brentwood Union School District will need to build at least four elementary schools and one middle school, according to a district consultant.
Benjamin Dolinka of the Dolinka Group presented the Brentwood school board with projected growth and student enrollment statistics Wednesday. Factoring in planned housing units within the school district boundaries, Dolinka estimated there will be 3,200 more elementary school students and about 1,500 additional middle school students.
"What we saw is that when you look at future development, there are about 12,000 units that can be built that are not age-restricted," he said.
There will be a need for two new elementary schools in the northern part of the district, one west of Highway 4 and another north of Lone Tree Way, according to Dolinka. This is an area that already houses Pioneer and Marsh Creek elementary schools.
To the west, Dolinka said an additional elementary school will be needed to balance enrollment with the surrounding campuses of Loma Vista, Nunn and Krey elementary schools. It is also estimated another elementary school campus would be needed between Mary Casey Black and Garin elementaries.
Dolinka noted two of these anticipated schools are outside the Urban Limit Line and an election would be needed to move that boundary. School board trustee Carlos Sanabria said this could mean placing a Brentwood campus in Antioch.
School board member Heather Partida mentioned this is not unprecedented with the Antioch school district operating a campus in Oakley because of school district boundaries that don't match city boundaries.
Currently, Brentwood has three middle schools and eight elementary schools.
The district has already acquired land for a fourth middle school near O'Hara Avenue and Lone Tree Way.
For the elementary school sites, Dolinka said the search should focus on land that has infrastructure in place, or developers should fund the infrastructure.
"There are families constantly trying to move into the Brentwood school district," Dolinka said. "We don't believe the population is going to be as transient as before the Great Recession. People are staying put."
The next step should be to acquire funding to purchase the elementary school sites, plan the future campuses and construct them, Dolinka said. He added funding will be the biggest hurdle.
"The key piece is what are we going to do to fund these schools on a timely basis?" he said.
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