Lease and attachments: Web Link
The proposed lease calls for the City to retain the two Gyms, rooms G5 and G8, the Pavilion, the Theatre, the Auditorium (only until the new Junior Museum and Zoo opens), the S building, and all of the athletic fields and track, which includes the space where the Friends of the Palo Alto Library have their portable for selling children's books. PAUSD retains the A, B, I, and M wings, as well as most of the G rooms.
The City's intent seems to be to give classrooms back to PAUSD but keep high-renting event spaces for the City, like the Theatre and the Pavilion. However, there's a problem with this: under the lease, the City retains the Cubberley Theatre's lobby and auditorium, but gives its backstage dressing rooms to PAUSD. Unfortunately, groups commonly rent the Theatre in conjunction with one or more of the M rooms. Without access to these rooms and their amenities, most performing arts groups will effectively be unable to use the Cubberley Theatre.
City staff sent the lease to the School Board, and sent eviction notices to affected tenants, before sending the lease to the Council. They will discuss it tonight for the first time.
Unlike other cuts which are budgeted for one year and suggested for two, the proposed Cubberley lease would be in effect for four and half years, through December 31, 2024, likely long after the current crisis has passed.
Despite dire financial predictions, the City still plans to spend millions of dollars on building projects in FY 2021, including two bridges, a parking garage, a fire station, a police station, and a multimillion-dollar renovation of Rinconada Park. Compared to these projects, the annual $2.5 million in savings from reducing the Cubberley lease, even with administrative costs added in, is a drop in the bucket.
Tonight's City Council meeting starts with a closed session at 5 p.m tonight, June 15. Oral Communications are scheduled for 6 p.m., and Cubberley is scheduled to be discussed at 8:45 p.m. Once the meeting starts, times are likely to change. You can listen via radio, YouTube, Zoom or telephone, and comment via Zoom or telephone.
Agenda and Packet: Web Link
Phone: 1 (669) 900-6833
Jeremy Erman is a musician who has worked for the City of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Unified School District. He has participated in events at Cubberley for decades.