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Revised Draft Meeting

posted Oct 22, 2012, 9:51 PM by FSK Website

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.