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Greening Committee

The greening committee works to find ways to make the school a greener place and a place where the school community has a chance to interact more with nature on the school campus. After the disruption of an ambitious school construction project the garden program is bouncing back. 

During the 2012-2013 school year the committee will be working with our selected landscape architecture firm, Miller Company, to develop a plan for a school garden which will be built during the summer of 2013.

Current Drawings

The following drawing is the most up to date version of our plan driven by input from greening committee meetings during fall 2012. There is a larger version in a downloadable PDF format at the bottom of this page, entitled "FSK Project Plan.pdf." 

Earlier Drawings

INITIAL MILLER COMPANY CONCEPT 1 - There is a PDF of this diagram, entitled "Initial Concept 1.pdf", that is available for download at the bottom of this page. The main thrust of this design is an education garden near on the west side of the modular building. There is also a circular outdoor classroom area near the play structure.

INITIAL MILLER COMPANY CONCEPT 2 - There is a PDF of this diagram, entitled "Initial Concept 2.pdf", that is available for download at the bottom of this page. The main thrust of this design is an raised garden near near the play structure.

INITIAL MASTER PLAN - The drawing below was an early conceptional drawing that was a product of planning and brainstorming from the school community prior to hiring Miller Company. It was used as a starting point to develop the actual plans that will be built. Significant changes came as a result of budget limitations as well as more deeply thinking about how the proposed elements of the greening will be used in real life conditions.

Land's End Benches

There has been discussion of making one of the outdoor classrooms using logs. Eric May traveled to Land's End and took photos of log benches designed by Miller Company. Below are pictures of those benches.

The following are meeting agendas as well as notes from meetings.

Greening Meetings

  • Revised Draft Meeting

    The primary meeting was held in the teacher lunchroom at 3:30 pm on Monday, October 22nd. The following people attended:

    Tamar Barlev, SFUSD

    Lori Shelton, SFUSD

    Jeff Miller, Miller Company

    Aaron Parr, Miller Company

    Mr. Wong, FSK Principal

    Ms. Ling, FSK Teacher

    Ms. Sonny Wong, FSK Teacher

    Ms. Tsukamoto, FSK Teacher

    Eric May, FSK Parent, PTA Executive VP

    John Cenzano-Fong, FSK Parent


    The meeting focused on discussing which elements of the revised plan needed adjustments as well as assessing the prioritization of all elements from the proposal. The proposed design brought by Miller Company is posted up on the PTA board by the main office, though there are no electronic copies available to post on the web at this time.


    Elements on the plan with dotted lines were originally conceived as alternates, which means they are additional bodies of work that could be considered for bid above and beyond the base plan if the base plan ends up receiving a bid below what is expected. All other elements were considered part of the base plan. An estimated budget was provided for the various elements of the plan, including the alternates.


    Early in the discussion there was consensus that the alternate additional trees in the northern part of the yard against 42nd street should remain alternates. Also agreed early in discussions was that all storage areas should be relocated to the northern part of the yard near the computer lab exit. Details regarding where to locate the emergency supplies shed were discussed, since it is already on order and set to be installed in November. At present, the plan is to locate the emergency shed to the east of the northern yard entrance where a dumpster currently resides. The dumpster will be relocated to the west of the northern entrance. The existing storage containers will be located up against the school building with a slab need to support the shipping container. A taller fence was also mentioned as being needed to account for the placement of these storage units.


    The trees in front of the modular entrances were kept in the same locations from previous plans but benches were shifted a more towards the track to try to mitigate possible noise. There was discussion that benches could possibly be built by the school community to help offset costs.


    The alternate outdoor classroom near the girl's bathroom was deemed to be sufficiently important to become part of the base bid because a single outdoor classroom for the many classes in the school seemed insufficient. At the point this was agreed to, the affordability of doing this was still in question.


    There was agreement that the raised bed garden by the play structure was appropriate and should be the focus of planting activity by classes. This revision of the plan had an expanded work area with a project counter and sink to facilitate harvesting and other tasks.


    The area of the most back and forth discussion was the garden area to the west of the modulars. The cistern and rill were proposed as alternates and people agreed these weren't as high of priority as other elements. Mr. Wong was very concerned about security issues as well a sound from planting activities from this garden, though, as previously mentioned, there was consensus to relocate the storage away from this area. There was discussion of eliminating this garden area because of a lack of focus for the use of the garden and out of concern for noise and children entering the area at times when it was inappropriate.


    After further discussion there was agreement that the primary focus of the garden would not be children involved in planting activities. The garden will function as more of a quiet area planted natives and a focus on activities such as a butterfly garden and as a place for science and drawing. Ultimately the idea of widening the planted area to span the distance between the modulars and the main school building was discussed and seemed to satisfy everyone. An ADA compliant path made either from decomposed granite or from remaining asphalt will cut through the middle to allow for easy flow from the south school entrance out to the yard. By creating a more immersive and less ambiguous space the issues of noise and incursions by children seems easier to manage. 


    In order to achieve all of the desired plans the group looked for ways to cut costs. One way to achieve significant savings is for the school community to build the raised bed planters with a basic design that Miller Company can provide. Elimination of the fencing between the yard and the raised bed garden, designed primarily to help prevent stray balls from damaging plants also saves money. As an aside, after the meeting, Lori Shelton from SFUSD urged us to reconsider the fencing. Tamar Barlev, also from SFUSD, proposed to have the openings for the tree plantings to be made larger than originally planned to provide the option for concrete footings to be poured later for a future fence.


    The last discussed was how to treat the two outdoor classroom spaces. Having a curved shape raises costs and doesn't allow for certain materials. There was a sentiment that there would be a benefit in building the two using different materials to distinguish them and to create variety and possibly save on cost. Building the outdoor classroom closer to the main building from concrete to retain the round shape was seen as appropriate, given it's location and the amount of people flowing through the area. The outdoor classroom near the play structure seemed the better candidate to change form. The use of cobb as a building material was discussed. Cobb can be constructed using recycled concrete pieces packed together and bound with a bonding agent, which is subsequently coated with a material. The end result is similar to adobe. It has a more organic and irregular shape and has a 7-10 year lifespan. The use of wood was also discussed. It was seen as preferable, if built with sufficiently sturdy pieces, because it could have a very long life. The wood requires more linear forms of a square, or perhaps hexagram form. People favored wood over cobb and the possibility of it being build by the community was discussed.


    Aaron Parr from Miller Company will be in touch with John Cenzano-Fong regarding his understanding of the group's prioritization of project elements. Those will be conveyed to the group with feedback solicited.



    A short subsequent meeting was held at 5:30 pm of the same day. Given the Giants game and presidential debate, the attendees from the previous meeting left before this one was held, with the exception of 3 people. Those in attendance for the 5:30 pm meeting were:


    Ms. Ling, FSK Teacher

    Melissa Washington, FSK Parent, PTA President

    Lorraine Leber, FSK Parent

    Heather Copling, FSK Parent

    Eric May, FSK Parent, PTA Executive VP

    John Cenzano-Fong, FSK Parent


    The outcome of the 3:30 meeting was discussed with those in attendance and concerns were raised about the handling of the ground area around the raised beds. There was a worry that by only cutting openings for the raised beds but not providing additional drainage around the planters that plants will not effectively grow well over the long term. There were also concerns that there be electrical for both garden areas so that drip irrigation can be installed in the future to ensure trees be properly watered when school is not in session. Lorraine Leber will follow up with Miller Company to discuss.


    There will be no subsequent meetings with Miller Company given almost all details were worked out. If it is deemed necessary, the garden committee can meet to discuss and outstanding issues to provide feedback to Miller Company.

    Posted Oct 22, 2012, 9:51 PM by FSK Website
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Click on the picture to the left to see our list of useful greening websites

Below are a schedule of milestones to meet:
 Date Milestone
12/3/2012 Deadline to submit 100% completed Bid Packages (drawings & specifications) to SFUSD for review
2/4/2013 Construction project advertised to public (week of)
2/14/2013 Final Bid Packages submitted to printers
2/18/2013 Final Bid Packages available to public for purchase and review
2/18/2013 Estimated dates for job walk 1 with contractors (week of)
3/11/2013 Estimated dates for job walk 2 with contractors (week of)
3/25/2013 Estimated dates for construction project bid opening (week of)
4/23/2013 Anticipated approval to award construction contract by Board of Education
5/6/2013 Estimated date to issue Notice to Proceed (NTP) to contractor
5/13/2013 Estimated date to hold pre-construction meeting with construction team (week of)
6/3/2013 First day of construction
8/2/2013 Substantial completion for construction
8/19/2013 First day of school for the Academic Year 2013-2014
9/1/2013 Final completion for construction

The first milestone that must be met is to work with the landscape architects in the fall to come up with formal design plans to turn over to the school district by early December. The committee will be meeting intensively every couple of weeks to resolve details.

FSK Website,
Apr 8, 2013, 10:38 PM
FSK Website,
Oct 25, 2012, 11:21 PM
FSK Website,
Oct 25, 2012, 11:21 PM
FSK Website,
Oct 3, 2012, 9:56 AM
FSK Website,
Oct 3, 2012, 9:56 AM