Construction of neighborhoods and school in Warm Springs area


Shivani Manivasagan and Ashka Patel

The Warm Springs/South Fremont area is planned to experience major changes, including housing developments as well as the construction of a new elementary school to be added to FUSD.

The Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan, approved in 2014, is an agreement between the city of Fremont, FUSD, and residential developers that details the use of land around the Warm Springs BART. Construction began on at least 800 houses throughout the Warm Springs area, and is scheduled to be finished in the next two years, raising concerns on how FUSD is going to accommodate to the influx of students. By the Community Plan, developers were allowed to use the land for building homes as long as they donated space for an elementary school that would accommodate the increase in children that would live in the new homes.

Lila Bringhurst Elementary School, named after a Fremont community leader, is being built west of the Warm Springs BART station. Construction started in September 2017, and a recent update on October 24 shared that the project is well under budget and is expected to be completed on March 7, 2019. Covering 99,000 square feet, it will have 4 buildings and 45 classrooms, and is projected to have an enrollment capacity of 1,100 students. It will be open for the 2019-2020 school year.

Lila Bringhurst Elementary is the first newly-constructed FUSD school in 25 years, and will prevent the other elementary schools from becoming overpopulated. It remains unclear whether Lila Bringhurst Elementary will lead into Horner Middle School and Irvington, increasing the already growing student population there, or if there will be a separate middle and high school for these students. However, as of now, there are no official plans for a new middle school or high school.

Ken Blackstone, Public Information Officer for Facilities and Construction for FUSD, informed, “The school district does own a site in north Fremont where a new middle school could be built, and that has been discussed by the Board as a future option. However, there are no actual plans to build a middle school or high school there at this time.”

Instead, FUSD has plans to convert all of its junior high schools into middle schools. This project, which started in September 2016, expects Horner and Walters junior high schools to be middle schools by fall 2019, Centerville and Thornton by fall 2021, and Hopkins by fall 2022. Furthermore, the construction of the new elementary school follows a trend of expansions and modernization projects that have been implemented at all five FUSD high schools, including updates and additions to classrooms, flooring and technology.