Dublin School District Looking Above and Below Ground to Tackle Overcrowding
Dublin was recently listed as the second fastest growing city in California. In an interview last year Dublin’s School District superintendent noted that “growth does come with challenges”. During the City of Dublin Mayoral race last year managing growth was a major theme. With a seemingly endless demand for new homes, Dublin’s school district is looking for innovative solutions to the resulting classroom crunch.
Building more schools will address some of the capacity crunch: Dublin’s latest school addition, Amador Elementary School, with a capacity for 950 students, opens this fall, and the City of Dublin and the Dublin School District recently announced a partnership to build two additional schools.
While many school districts have struggled with declining enrollment, program cuts and school closures, Dublin has faced the opposite challenge. To completely address the capacity issue the District is looking both above and below ground for solutions. Some of the options being explored according to a leaked report:
- Two story portable classrooms: Parents of many Dublin school sites have seen portable classrooms appearing each summer to absorb the inevitable flood of new registrants for Dublin’s high-performing schools. Said one Dublin school official, “we have two Targets, two BART stations, why not two story portable classrooms?” Like education bunk beds these creative portable solutions double the classroom space for the same amount of real estate.
Underground classrooms with natural sunlight: Even more innovative is expanding down with underground classrooms. Said one school official close to the confidential discussions, “rather than take up more playground and asphalt with portables, why not take advantage of the real estate right beneath our feet?” To ensure students and educators benefit from California’s wealth of sunlight these subterranean classrooms will be fitted with Solatube SkyVault technology that focuses and redirects sunlight into enclosed spaces that would otherwise not have access to natural sunlight. For elementary school sites, these classrooms will have slides and fire poles to make arriving at school a fun and playful experience.
- Virtual reality home-based education: Home-based and distance education options will be expanded with Google Cardboard-enabled classrooms where students take advantage of the low cost build-it-yourself virtual reality solution to experience distance education in 3D. According to the leaked report, “we have so many more homes than schools, why not make turn homes into schools and eliminate the need to build any more school sites?”
District officials declined to comment on the leaked report despite repeated requests for additional information.