Red Phone: Christopher High disturbs rural feel

The sun rises over Christopher High School last year.


I think Christopher High School is a beautiful school and a
wonderful addition to our community. We’ve needed it for a long
time. But I am curious about why they did the footprint the way
they did. They faced the front of the school to the levee and a
small number of homes and put the baseball fields right on Santa
Teresa Boulevard. It seems to me like they would do the reverse
– you would have the front of the school face the main
thoroughfare and the fields behind it, blending into the
community.

“I think Christopher High School is a beautiful school and a wonderful addition to our community. We’ve needed it for a long time. But I am curious about why they did the footprint the way they did. They faced the front of the school to the levee and a small number of homes and put the baseball fields right on Santa Teresa Boulevard. It seems to me like they would do the reverse – you would have the front of the school face the main thoroughfare and the fields behind it, blending into the community.

Also there are a number of stoplights in a very short period of time. I was just wondering why they created the other entrance there down by the levee rather than just feeding the majority of traffic into Day Road and have fewer stop lights. Thanks.”

Dear What Were They Thinking,

The school was designed with the fields toward the front to keep a rural feel to the area, said Paul Bunton, president of Fremont-based architecture firm Bunton Clifford and Associates that designed the school.

“One of our original designs had the school building up front,” he said. “But the the City Planning Division wanted to preserve the view of the hills from Santa Teresa.”

Having the building away from the busy road also helped create a barrier to eliminate some of the noise, said Jim Rogers, who served on the CHP Steering Committee.

As for having two access points to the school, the Steering Committee wanted to avoid the congestion that Gilroy High has with its one main exit and entrance, Bunton said.

“This way the traffic doesn’t back up onto Santa Teresa Boulevard,” he said. “It is the best circulation pattern of any high school I’ve seen. That school will last 80 to 100 years, and that traffic system will last just as long.”

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