Your Questions Answered


Facts About Traffic, Enrollment, and Construction


 

 Question    Answer

Why doesn't Castilleja split its campus as other schools have done? 

 

 

 

The Environmental Impact Report did not support splitting campus as an alternative. Other schools have opened new campuses when their enrollment has grown by over 60% or they created entirely new divisions. By contrast, Castilleja is seeking to add no more than 6%—or 25–27 students per year, all in the Upper School. If the Traffic Demand Management (TDM) program succeeds, the Upper School will grow by another 25-27 students annually until total enrollment reaches 540. Total enrollment growth will not exceed 30 percent, an increase that does not justify a second campus. Furthermore, splitting campuses is not the same for an all girls school as it is for a coed school. Remaining on one campus allows for mentorship, an essential element of girls’ education. Therefore, we have chosen incremental growth with a cap at 30% rather than larger-scale growth that would require a second campus and run counter to our mission.

   
 Question    Answer

Will the garage bring more cars to the neighborhood?

 

We will not permit more cars because our proposed CUP limits car trips to campus. Instead, the garage is designed to move parking below ground. Since 2013, when the City asked the school to launch a more robust TDM program, Castilleja has reduced the number of peak car trips to campus by 25–30 percent. Our proposed increase in enrollment is contingent upon continuing our successful TDM program; we will only be permitted to grow if we keep cars to campus below our City-approved limit.
     
 Question    Answer
Why does Castilleja need a garage if no new cars will be coming to campus?   The Environmental Impact Report supported underground parking over street parking because it protects the neighborhood feel around campus. Our Project Alternative reduces the size of the garage by 28%, conserves trees, and protects two homes. The garage entrance and exits will be landscaped to blend with the neighborhood aesthetic.
     
 Question    Answer
How does Castilleja’s plan affect its trees?   A recent change in the California Green Building Code has allowed us to conserve more trees. In our Project Alternative, we are removing 18 trees, relocating 29 trees, and planting an additional 103 trees. A total of 110 trees are being preserved in place. By the completion of the project, we will have nearly doubled the number of trees on campus.
     
 Question    Answer
How has Castilleja engaged the community about its Master Plan and CUP process?   Since 2012, the school has held more than 50 community meetings. This has provided neighbors the opportunity to learn about the plan and share feedback that has been incorporated into the school's proposal. Some of the feedback resulted in measures to reduce noise and the number of events; increase traffic demand management, support sustainability, and incorporate building materials and design that suit the neighborhood. The school has also offered a project alternative with a smaller garage that preserves trees and homes and distributes drop-off to maintain current traffic patterns.
     
 Question    Answer

What is the duration of the construction?

 

Regarding the time frame for construction, we estimate the project will take less than three years to complete. Within that period, the garage will be completed first. As that work concludes, the construction of other aspects of our Master Plan will begin. We are committed to minimizing disruption during the construction phase and therefore are deeply invested in completing the work as quickly as possible.

     
 Question    Answer
How will cyclists on the Bryant bike boulevard be affected by your project?  

Cars can enter the garage on Bryant Street only by taking a right turn. This means that turns into the garage do not cross the bike boulevard. The Environmental Impact Report indicates the project has no impact on the bike boulevard.

     
 Question    Answer

How does Castilleja benefit the City of Palo Alto?

 

  Castilleja has been an integral part of Palo Alto almost since the City's founding and has forged strong relationships with PAUSD and many not-for-profit organizations. The all-girls setting provides a unique and supportive learning environment for those seeking it, and Castilleja's robust tuition assistance program makes this all-girls education accessible to 22% of students.  
     
 Question    Answer
Is Castilleja violating its CUP?   In 2012, Head of School Nanci Kauffman came forward to report that the school was over-enrolled. In early 2014, the City established an enrollment reduction schedule, which the school has followed faithfully.