San Francisco Unified School Board Members gave a green light Tuesday for a long overdue school project. The board voted to build an elementary school in the Mission Bay neighborhood.
An upcoming vibrant part of San Francisco with a lot of new buildings, construction underway and the soon to be home of the Golden State Warriors arena, but one thing lacking in this community, a place for families to send their children to school.
"Right now there are over 100 school age children in Mission Bay and they don't have a school to go to and a lot of those families are choosing a nonpublic option," says educator and parent Darren Kawaii.
"We want to keep families in San Francisco. The way to keep families in San Francisco is you got to have kids and you got to have opportunities for them to go to public school," says Bruce Agid of the Mission Bay Elementary Steering Commission.
For decades there have been plans to build a school in the area, the most recent time according to the school board 2006.
At that time they didn't have the enrollment to do so. But now that's no longer an issue. "30 percent of the housing in Mission Bay is affordable housing. So it’s really important to have a real community," says Agid.
"We are attracting all these families into the neighborhood and we're expecting 500 to 900 new public school students just from this neighborhood," says San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim.
A packed crowd was on hand as the school board passed the proposal supporting the construction of a new elementary school over the next five years in the area, on land provided by U.C.S.F.
The district has a 90 foot height limit to accommodate the school. Board members say they're looking into adding affordable housing for teachers in the area, as well as a Science Technology Engineering and Math center for the entire district. Lastly the board says this is just the beginning they're looking at building more schools in other neighborhoods, especially with a possibility of 10,000 new students coming into San Francisco in the next 10 years.