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10th School Site Committee Reports 17 Possibilities, 'None Easy'

There are no easy or obvious options, the group will report Monday night.

 

An ad-hoc committee charged with identifying and investigating possible school sites for a 10th campus makes its first progress report to the Los Altos School District Board Monday night. 

The Ad-Hoc 10th School Site Committee has looked at 30 and kept 17 in play, according to the report that is attached to this article.

The report notes that the area within district boundaries has been built out, and surrounding districts do not have surplus land, and there are "no obvious or easy options."

Nevertheless, the group kept under consideration ten sites inside LASD boundaries (three north of El Camino Real, four in Los Altos or elsewhere in Mountain View and three in Los Altos Hills. Outside of LASD boundaries, it kept seven under consideration (three within a 1.5-mile radius, three within a 5-mile radius, and one outside a five-mile radius).

They also kept in mind state guidelines for school sites, ranging from topography to public services.

To protect its negotiating interests, the committee has only named sites that have been mentioned publicly before, such as the Hillview Community Center site in Los Altos, Grant Park in south Los Altos (but out of district) or the Raynor Center in Sunnyvale.

The group established criteria, and found it had to revise down its space criterion of six-to-ten acres to four-to-five acres to provide additional flexibility. It set its ideal location as one that was inside the school district, then within a 1.5 mile radius, and lastly, within Santa Clara County.

The group looked at former school sites, public property, commercial property, church sites, and residential property, to a lesser extent.

The group consisted of LASD trustees Tamara Logan and Steve Taglio, Tom McGovern, a LASD parent and commercial real estate broker, Nancy Morimoto, a parent from the north of El Camino side of the district, Tom Campbell, a representative of the Citizens Committee, and Randy Kenyon, LASD Assistant Superintendent for Business.

comment1320 January 28, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Why is it that they have not looked at turning the Egan Camp site into a smaller school of 300 that could serve the growing population in that area? From all reports when BCS was that size, it was not detrimental to the Egan program (as Egan has excess capacity there) and it would mitigate traffic as many of the kids could walk/ride bikes since it would draw exclusively from the surrounding area. Include a before/after care option for working families. With permanent buildings (perhaps even two story) it would be the lowest cost solution as it does not require purchasing property. Seems like a win/win...
Joan J. Strong January 28, 2013 at 08:03 PM
@comment1320 -- I don't think anybody is seriously thinking of dissolving BCS right now. Even I would not advocate the disolution of the *community* at BCS although I do think it should be under District control. As such, no matter what happens, we need more campuses for maximum flexibility. We have the money here and our schools are a vast source of that wealth both long and short term. The most expensive thing we can do is under-invest.
Kyle January 28, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Last everyone checked, the Camp Site is being used to house a school which will be there for the foreseeable future; so that space is not available. I believe they are looking for an 11th site to help handle the NEC growth.
comment1320 January 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM
BCS is not dissolving but with a student population of 600-800 either a) it will be permanently split between Egan and Blach or b) it will get a site in LASD. It would be tremendously difficult for LASD to pass a bond issue for an additional site/s if it does not solve the NEC AND the BCS issues. So unless you really think LASD needs, or can afford, two new sites, using the Egan camp site for a smaller NEC school seems like the best, and most cost effective alternative. Yes, you have to reboundary but that will be required no matter what. The status quo certainly does not work. BCS would then be located at one of the existing LASD schools. Simply solving the NEC problem with out addressing the BCS issue is the ridiculous thinking that got us into the current problem. Keep in mind that every additional student at BCS is one less student at the existing LASD campuses.
Joan J. Strong January 28, 2013 at 11:15 PM
What we end up doing with BCS in the long term will be up to what BCS even is in the long run, which nobody can possibly know right now. It's possible, for instance, that the majority of the BCS student population would be coming from NEC, at which point the NEC school could be given to BCS. Another possibility is to find a large NEC site and put two schools on the site, one big and one small, which would give us flexible options no matter how BCS grows. NEC growth and the luxury of "choice" costs money, but thankfully we can afford that here.
David January 28, 2013 at 11:29 PM
It's not a local traffic problem at Egan, it's just an intersection problem compounded by a poor drop off arrangement. Look at the pickup/dropoff at Covington! It's hugely better, two lanes large U surrounding a parking lot. The driveway is separate from the parking and it is very long so it can hold a lot of off-road waiting cars. There could be a new intersection/driveway across from Jordan Way on San Antonio to serve the Camp school site. That could feed a better drop off layout and there'd be no problem. That 6 acres is a very viable location.
ANB January 29, 2013 at 12:27 AM
My understanding of the situation is that the BoT wants to put BCS at the NEC school. That really doesn't seem fair to me. NEC needs a neighborhood school so then you stick a school there that draws from the entire district, why?
L.A. Chung (Editor) January 29, 2013 at 01:52 AM
@ANB, after sitting through most, if not all, board meetings over the past year, I have not heard any discussion of placing BCS at a North-of-El-Camino school site, let alone "the" North-of-El-Camino school. I have heard board members say that they have been advised by Mountain View public officials that land costs are higher in Mountain View because of the commercial value of the property.
Joan J. Strong January 29, 2013 at 01:56 AM
ANB -- The BOT hasn't said anything about that nor would they--we have 2-3 years to decide on these things at least. I think we all agree that NEC should have a neighborhood school. How we do that will depend on how thing unfold.

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