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School Bus copyright Lorrie Jo Williams

Elk Grove Unified School District

Cosumnes River Elementary School Reconstruction Project

Environmental review on expansion of an existing 4-acre school site onto 15 adjacent acres, construction of new K–6 school facilities, and demolition of the existing school and constructing playfields—while maintaining full school occupancy during both phases of construction

This extremely complex and multidisciplinary process involved preparing an EIR on construction of a 988-student elementary school near Sloughhouse in Sacramento County, adjacent to the Cosumnes River. Broad-ranging feasibility studies were needed to determine optimal layout for the new school site that maximized use of the property, protected endangered species, allowed for use of recycled water, and avoided river bank and floodway disturbance.

Key issues included realignment of the intersection of State Route 16 (Jackson Highway) and Kiefer Boulevard, effects on the floodplain and floodway of the Cosumnes River, and Endangered Species Act issues (vernal pool crustaceans, California tiger salamander). Cultural resources were a significant issue, as the property was the site of continuous occupation by Native American (Miwok) and early California groups for more than 200 years.

During the development period of the school site, the project team coordinated and negotiated with more than 30 federal, state, regional, and local government agencies to meet the complex and often overlapping requirements of various permitting and regulatory processes.

Project Tasks

  • School siting requirements of the California Department of Education
  • Preservation/relocation of heritage oak tree
  • Archaeological excavation and preservation plan
  • Evaluation of 1946 school for historic eligibility
  • Restoration and design of detention basin and outfall structure

Construction Noise

Innovative noise mitigation was developed that allowed students to remain on the existing campus while extensive construction activity was taking place on the new campus, without adversely affecting noise levels in permanent and temporary classrooms.