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Guest Column: Public invited to review school's master plan

January 30, 2013|By Sister Carolyn McCormack, O.P

I welcome this opportunity to connect with you and update you on Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's proposed master plan project, which will bring much-needed improvements to our campus' aging facilities. As we evaluated our current curricular offerings and set future goals for our program, we identified needed improvements to our facilities to ensure a high-quality academic experience for our students. Our thoughtfully crafted master plan addresses our goals for educating today's 21st century students.

The academy places great value in our relationship with the community where we have been located for 81 years. It is important to us that while we improve ourselves we also ensure that our neighbors are considered in all of our efforts. Since we first shared our master plan in November 2011, we have held several meetings with our neighbors and have learned a great deal during this time.

We are encouraged by the many positive comments we received on our plan, but a common concern that we have heard has to do with traffic on the hill. In response, we have been evaluating ways in which we as a school can reduce vehicle trips on the hill. To that end, we have developed a Transportation Demand Management Plan that will dramatically and permanently reduce traffic trips to and from our campus by at least 40% from current volume. This plan, which consists of busing and carpooling, will require mandatory participation from our students and families. We are confident that this will result in an effective and measurable reduction in traffic in all directions on the hill. We look forward to sharing specific details on our transportation management plan with our neighbors in the coming days.

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As part of the city of La Cañada Flintridge's review, the city is preparing an environmental impact report for the project, which will study the various potential environmental impacts of our project. Earlier this week, the city issued a “Notice of Preparation,” which is the first step in the EIR process. In addition, the city will host a public meeting, which is an opportunity for the public to provide comments on environmental issues that should be studied in the EIR. We look forward to this process moving ahead, and we encourage your participation. A draft EIR is expected to be circulated in the next few months, at which time the public will have an opportunity to review and submit comments on the document.

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