A slowing housing market will delay the planned opening of the newest east Dublin elementary school by one year, to fall 2010.

Dublin schools' chief business officer Beverly Heironimus told trustees Tuesday night that, assuming "medium" growth in the coming year, there will not be enough new students in east Dublin to open Kolb Elementary. The school was planned to open in fall 2009.

Meanwhile, the board also got assessments for work at three of the four elementary schools on the city's west side and the results of an air quality survey at Dublin Elementary.

Superintendent Stephen Hanke said the delay in opening Kolb does not need a board vote.

The current capacity in east Dublin without adding portable classrooms, which some schools have space for, is 2,234. Under a "medium" growth projection, the district will be only 119 above that in 2009-2010, when the district desires 650 students at an elementary school.

"The actual need for Kolb Elementary won't actually be until fall 2010," Hanke said. Attendance boundaries for the school have been set, and they can be changed if needed.

Students scheduled to attend Kolb in 2009 will continue to attend Fallon Middle School, which also is serving elementary grades. Hanke said one proposal is to open Kolb temporarily at Fallon Middle, with its own principal, parent/faculty club and other features to foster its own identity.

Discussion on the delay did not include whether it should or should not happen.


The board also heard a facilities report on Dublin, Murray and Nielsen elementary schools, which make up three of the four elementary schools on the older west side of the city. Work at Frederiksen Elementary has already started, Hanke said.

In general, there is widespread materials degradation such as dry rot, according to the report, and electrical systems have exceeded their service life. Hanke said that in the next two to three months, district staff will prioritize the needs -- costing more than the $9.5 million allocated under 2004's $184 million bond Measure C.

Additionally, Tim Boczanowski, a program management consultant for the district, described those $11 million to $17 million per campus costs as "probable," not estimates. The numbers did not include inflation.

The district had planned to close Nielsen Elementary and consolidate it with a new school on the Dublin Elementary site due to its relatively small size. But after opposition from residents, that plan has been postponed.

A fresh look at consolidation is planned, with the school board making a decision in 2010. There also may be a bond measure after that to pay for it.

Hanke did not want to speculate how a planned consolidation would affect renovations, but he said that the district would be careful not to waste money.

The board was also presented an air study that showed that air quality at Dublin Elementary is safe, even given its relative nearness to the freeway.

Eric Louie covers education. Reach him at elouie@bayareanewsgroup.com or 925-847-2123.