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Original post made on Sep 20, 2019

CUBBERLEY DIPLOMACY ... While grand improvements at the aged but treasured Cubberley Community Center are, at best, years in the future, the city and the Palo Alto school district are starting to feel pressure to reach a more immediate goal for the jointly owned site: Extending the city's lease of Cubberley space from the school district, which expires in December. Both sides have plenty to lose if a deal isn't reached soon — a prospect that could jeopardize the many nonprofits that currently occupy the city-leased portion of Cubberley and leave the school district without a valuable revenue source. Yet, to date, there's been little movement. The City/School Liaison Committee, which includes members City Council and the Board of Education, canceled its Thursday meeting, at which it was set to discuss the lease. The City Council plans to discuss the lease Monday in closed session. The only thing that the two sides had agreed on is a set of "pre-negotiation principles" hashed out by school Superintendent Don Austin and City Manager Ed Shikada. The principles, which Austin released earlier this month, acknowledge that the two sides are not on the same timeline when it comes to Cubberley's redevelopment. They also underscore that, despite all prior talk of building housing and sharing art and exercise facilities at Cubberley, the district has "no interest or ability to provide funding for buildings not directly constructed for the immediate use of serving students within the charge of our school district mission and purpose" and "no interest in pursuing housing on the Cubberley site." The city has an interest in providing "long-term stability" to Cubberley users and in investing in Cubberley in a manner that will "have long-term benefit for the community," according to the principle sheet. The principles also call for a joint session to discuss the 35-acre site's future.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 20, 2019, 12:00 AM


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