Board also discusses possibly of separating FCUSD in the future
With the continued growth in its population, the community of Folsom Ranch, often referred to as “South of the 50,” is about to get a new elementary school. Alder Creek Elementary School is expected to be completed by the summer of 2024.
After the Folsom Cordova Unified School District (FCUSD) board unanimously gave the green light on the project at its recent regular meeting, construction is set to begin on the site at 4545 Old Ranch Way. Completion is estimated to be by July of 2024.
Designed by Rainforth Grau Architects, Alder Creek School will be the second elementary school to be built in the Folsom Ranch Community. Mangini Ranch Elementary opened in 2021 for grades TK-5.
The new facility will be constructed much like that of Mangini Ranch Elementary. The plans consist of a one building structure that is 71,000 square feet in size and two stories. The plans include a sports field and several asphalt recreation and play areas, including basketball courts.
The plans include room for future expansion by the use of portable buildings. They also have a proposed addition for a student care center.
Roebbelen Contracting and Lease Leaseback have been named as the contractors for the project. The school district will host an official groundbreaking ceremony in the coming weeks, according to Angela Griffin of the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.
The school is forecast to host up to 764 students ranging in grades TK-5, according the initial plans, not including the future expansion options. Construction of the facility is funded partially by a combination of Measure M Bond funds state funds, general obligation bonds and developer fees.
The Folsom Cordova Unified School District’s boundaries include the cities of Folsom and Rancho Cordova, both of which adjoin Highway 50. Folsom’s population is approximately 82,000, similar to Rancho Cordova’s population of approximately 81,000.
By the time Folsom Ranch is complete, the city will have several additional schools, including a third public high school and middle school and a total of five elementary schools. All schools will be fully funded by state funds, general obligation bonds and developer fees.
Board discusses possibly of splitting district
In other news, board members has a discussion at Thursday’s meeting on the topic of possibly splitting the FCUSD into two different districts in the future after the topic was brought up earlier in the year.
School Services of California was in attendance to provide a presentation of what would be involved in such a process and what would be involved to initiate a study.
In summary, the presentation noted that specific criteria must be met for a school district to be divided. Among the many items is that each area having an adequate number of pupils, its own community identity, no substantial state and facility cost increases or negative effects on fiscal status of the district, property value impact, an established educational program, no racial or ethnic segregation and equal division of properties and facilities.
“We don’t want to split the school district, and you have one side of the community with all of the facilities except for one and ends up with all of the bond funds while the other side of your community has one school that they have to fit 10,000 students in,” explained Brianna García, Vice President of School Services.
Garcia estimated that the cost for a study to determine if FCUSD would be a minimum of $72,500, not included additional expenses for staff travel and other requirements.
Many parents in attendance spoke in support of the possible division. In the end, FCUSD President David Reid suggested that the district and cities schedule joint meeting to further discuss whether moving forward with a study should be considered. The board agreed to entertain that process before discussing the matter further.
Construction is set to begin on the site on Alder Creek School at 4545 Old Ranch Way. Completion is estimated to be by July of 2024.