San Diego's planning commission approved a proposed expansion of Francis Parker School in Linda Vista today (July 28).
The private high school expansion calls for a net increase of approximately 62,000 square feet of new buildings that will house a new kitchen and dining hall, an athletic complex, and student centers. The school plans to add a two-story parking garage with tennis courts on the top floor, an outdoor aquatic center, and will reconfigure the football field to make room for a track-and-field course.
Once construction is complete, the school plans to increase enrollment from 800 to 940 students.
Francis Parker School was opened in 1912 and is considered one of the region's elite private schools where tuitions can climb to $30,000 a year.
As reported by the Reader's Joe Deegan in May 2016, residents living in the adjacent North Rim condominium complex don't like the proposal. Their objections aren't based on the expansion of the school but on the installation of a new traffic light at Linda Vista Road and Northrim Court.
Residents say the light and the accompanying 30-foot driveway will create long-term impacts to the community. According to Jackie Landis, the North Rim resident who has headed up the opposition, adding the traffic light and constructing the driveway will force residents to share the same road with students, buses, delivery trucks, and staff traveling to and from the school.
“We here on Northrim know that we live next to a school,” Landis told the Reader. “We understand that we are subject to certain disruptions that other communities don’t have to endure. We get that. What they’re proposing now is a fairly large plan. We support 90 percent of it. But our street is a dead-end street. We don’t have an alternative for getting in and out of here."
Despite the objections, planning commissioners voted unanimously to approve the expansion. A couple had some not-so-subtle words for those living nearby.
"This is a high school and high schools have kids in them and kids make noise," said commissioner James Whalen. "So, I am not sympathetic to residents that live near high schools and say this will add noise to their neighborhood."
Commissioner Anthony Wagner said, "I don't think the [homeowners' association] has exclusive rights to Northrim Court. You all need to share and play nice."