Public ponders Cubberley options at forum
Original post made on Nov 9, 2012
While a few questioned why Palo Alto needs multiple "community centers," most described Cubberley as an irreplaceable and valued public asset.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 9, 2012, 9:55 AM
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:54 am
A meeting like this easily draws people who don't want to be moved out of Cubberley, but those who are most impacted by Gunn and Paly housing 2,300-2,500 students each don't really understand the impacts yet and wouldn't be represented. Millions of our money are being spent now to make Gunn and Paly take larger enrollments rather than on more improvements for a smaller enrollment; not using the costs of that extra capacity to rebuild Cubberley instead is a travesty. (And please spare me any specious arguments about what that would cost -- we just built that huge new library and community center for $45million, and if you look at state studies about the cost of new school construction, especially in this economy, we could have had a completely new, state of the art campus out of our current bond measure if it had been better managed.)
The district should have either partnered with Foothill to let them build a new campus on that 8 acres, or they should have moved to rebuild Cubberley as part of Measure A plans, which Measure A was clearly drafted to allow. If we'd had such leadership, the new campus would be nearly ready now - and could have allowed us to temporarily, alternately move Paly and Gunn students to better redo those campuses with less disruption to the students -- and there's no reason a new building couldn't have included space for tenants and shared use if the district felt it needed to continue being landlords to raise revenue.
Our leadership's reason for not even considering rebuilding Cubberly earlier was a desire not to argue over boundary lines for Paly and Gunn -- which could have been completely circumvented by an old proposal to make a reopened Cubberley a choice program, allowing the district complete control over enrollments at all three schools (since choice programs are always oversubscribed in this district). I think the leadership and planning have been terrible -- and the new construction is ugly, to boot!
on Nov 9, 2012 at 11:00 am
You know something, this brings up another issue. We are so concerned about affordable housing, why aren't we concerned as a city about affordable public and commercial space for businesses and non-profits with distinct benefits to the community? Why should the school district be making decisions with the weight of that on its shoulders?
Our city should look at developing a policy for encouraging such public spaces, not just affordable housing. We'd all be a lot better off, (and this whole business would be a lot less complicated.)
on Nov 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm
I think it should be pointed out to the parents of preschoolers and babies, as quoted in the article, that it is exactly their children we are thinking about when we talk about high school overcrowding. By the time these preschoolers and babies are in high school, they will be the ones who will suffer or not depending on the sizes of Gunn and Paly at that time. Our kids will be long gone, theirs will be reaping the rewards of discussion now.