Plans For a School in the Railyard

Add another future development project to the railyard north of downtown Sacramento: a new elementary school.

Sacramento City Unified School District and Downtown Railyards Venture LLC have completed an agreement for as many as two school sites in the 244-acre project. The agreement, approved by district trustees, comes before a pivotal Sacramento City Council vote for changes to the railyard plan Wednesday.

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Proposed plan changes would add both a future soccer stadium and Kaiser Permanente medical center to the northeast and northwest corners of the railyard. They would also set the number of housing units at 6,000 to 10,000, a slight downward revision from what was approved a decade ago by previous would-be railyard developers.

It was the number of housing units that drove the district to reach out to Downtown Railyards Venture. According to a district news release, the numbers of projected homes would bring as many as 1,900 elementary school students and about 700 middle- and high-school students. Current district schools serving downtown only have about a sixth of the room necessary to house those students.

The agreement calls for DRV to provide the district with a site for an elementary school within the railyard and funding to build it. If another school is needed, developers would share a proportionate amount of costs and help pay for interim facilities before it’s built.

However, any such railyard schools are years away from being built. If the council approves the plan changes this week, Denton Kelley of DRV has said that infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer, will be put in over the next year, and residential building construction wouldn’t come until 2018 at the soonest. That means that residents, including those still in school, wouldn’t start moving in probably for another three to four years.

Most of the housing expected in the railyard would be in the form of mid-rise multifamily buildings, which typically house fewer school-aged children than single-family homes.

Article and image provided by: Sacramento Business Journal

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