FREMONT (KPIX 5) — The Fremont Unified School District is putting the finishing touches on its first new school in 25 years, but the brand-new campus will remain shuttered and empty for another year because of low enrollment.
“We would not have enough students to open the school this fall to make it a fiscally responsible decision to do so,” said district spokesperson Ken Blackstone.READ MORE: UPDATE: Atmospheric River Crashes Onshore; Flood Warning Issued For Napa, Sonoma Counties
Blackstone says several developers who are currently building more than 4,000 new housing units in the neighborhood around the new Lilia Bringhurst Elementary school agreed the pay for the majority of the construction costs. The problem is the school is nearly complete while the homes, apartments and condos surrounding it are in various stages of construction.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Michael Lima, whose two daughters are enrolled in the district’s Spanish Immersion Program, which is currently divided among three campuses. Lima and other parents wondered if the new campus might be a temporary solution to their desire to have the immersion program housed at a single school site.READ MORE: UPDATE: Streets Flood in San Rafael, Mill Valley as Wild Storm Lashes Bay Area
“We know that there’s a school that’s available and it’s very frustrating to know that it’s not an option to use it temporarily or even permanently for our purposes,” Lima said.
The district, however, says the move doesn’t make sense for a single year.
“It’s not really a question of if there’s going to be students there or enough students, it’s a question of when,” Blackstone said.MORE NEWS: Stephen Curry Reaches 5,000 Assists, Warriors Beat Kings 119-107
Construction on the campus is nearly complete, but it won’t open until at least 2020.