Comstock and Cook middle schools, as well as Lewis School on Lomitas Avenue, emerged Wednesday night as strong contenders to house the Spanish-language dual-immersion program planned by Santa Rosa City Schools.
District officials approved the charter school last month and plan to open it in August with one transitional kindergarten and three traditional kindergarten classes.
"We don't need a campus for 500 kids right now for the Spanish immersion. We need a campus for 80, and we need to find four classrooms," Board President Bill Carle said.
But Carle reiterated that the board would come up with a long-term housing plan for the new program even if it includes a temporary home during the first year.
"We are going to get this done," he said.
After nearly two hours of public comment, the majority of which was from supporters of Ridgway High School and Santa Rosa Charter School, asking that their programs not be displaced, board members expressed little desire to pursue either option.
Instead, using four immediately available rooms at Comstock and expanding the program there while leaving Santa Rosa Charter on the same campus drew support.
Board members also directed staff to gather more information about whether Cook Middle School could house both the language program and planned community campus facilities, including a preschool and health center.
Comstock and Cook are currently well below capacity, while all three other district middle schools are full.
Upgrading Lewis School also remained a possibility for some trustees. It has space available but has not housed elementary school students for decades.
Questions remain about the cost of upgrading Lewis School, which currently houses the Lewis Opportunity Program as well as Nueva Vista, a program for school-age parents.
Addressing the packed house at the Santa Rosa City Council chambers, board member Donna Jeye acknowledged the anxiety the campus search has sparked.
"I know this process is very painful for everybody, but you know, we are in trouble if we do and we are in trouble if we don't," she said. "This is exactly what needs to happen."
The immersion program will be taught 90 percent in Spanish and 10 percent in English in kindergarten and first grades, and 70 percent Spanish and 30 percent English in grades two and three. In grades four through eight, instruction will be evenly split between English and Spanish.
Board member Laura Gonzalez was absent.
The old and new
Side-by-side comparison of the San Francisco 49ers’ new home in Santa Clara versus the one they left behind in San Francisco:
Candlestick Park; Levi's Stadium
Year opened: 1960; 2014
Cost to build: $32 million; $1.3 billion
Seating capacity: 69,900; 68,500*
Suites: 94; 176
Stadium square footage: 985,000; 1,850,000
Average concourse width (feet): 19; 63
Scoreboard square footage: 1,296; 19,000
Elevators: 4; 25
Escalators: 6; 38
Toilets: 885; 1,135
Parking spaces: 18,000; about 30,000
*With room to expand
Source: San Francisco 49ers 2014 Media Guide
Tale of three stadiums
Opened in 1925 in southeast corner of Golden Gate Park; renovated 1989-90
Cost $300,000 ($4 million in 2014 dollars)
Seating capacity nearly 60,000
Founding home of San Francisco 49ers in 1946; team moved to Candlestick Park in 1971.
In their finale at Kezar, the 49ers lost the 1970 NFC Championship Game to the Dallas Cowboys, 17–10, on Jan. 3, 1971, and fans set to tearing the stadium apart looking for souvenirs or with mayhem on their minds.
Opened in 1960 as the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.
Cost $15 million ($120 million in current dollars)
Seating capacity nearly 70,000
49ers moved into stadium in 1971; played final game Dec. 23, 2013
Hosted eight National Football Conference championship games, four won by Niners, the first in 1982 decided by 'The Catch,' Dwight Clark's touchdown reception from Joe Montana.
Opened in 2014 in Santa Clara, 38 miles south of Candlestick Park
Cost $1.3 billion
Seating capacity 68,500 with ability to expand
First 49ers game Sunday; preseason match against Denver Broncos at 1 p.m.
Features digital, sustainable and gastronomical advances, including a stadium mobile app, rooftop garden for insulation and 32 vegan menu items.