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on Jun 22, 2007
"Board member Margot Harrigan warned against that path because, she said, it would diminish the quality of the junior high school at Egan, and would create an unfair imbalance between the Egan and Blach in the district. "
What!?!?!? Is Margo blind to the fact that Egan is occupied by Bullis Charter School??? There is already an unfair imbalance between Egan and Blach. We are not asking for a change at all. We are just asking that Bullis Charter School be moved to Bullis-Purissima so that a new elementary can take those classrooms.
At the corner of San Antonio Road and California Street, a Los Altos School District elementary school stood until the land was sold by the district in the 1970's, according to a former employee of the district. A second elementary school in that area was located on Los Altos Avenue, north of Santa Rita School, on land the District sold for residential development. Luxury housing on Margarita Court, Via del Pozo, and Santander Court now stands on the former school site. Each school site was believed to be ten to fifteen acres in size. Sale prices for the two sites are not known. Land in the area currently sells for up to four million dollars an acre.
Los Altos Elementary School District was no different that all the surrounding school districts in the 70's--Mountain View, Whisman, Palo Alto and I'm sure many other districts also sold school properties during that time. Klein Park at Ortega & California was a school site; the site of the Mountain View Whisman District Office was Stevenson School. Cubberley Community Center was a Palo Alto high school. Palo Alto recently bought back a school site to create a third middle school. With the benefit of hindsight, we can all see how these districts could have benefited by holding on to the property. But, in the 70's, prop 13 was starting to hit the school budgets; the Silicon Valley phenomenon had not yet started, bring thousands of people to the area in the 80's and 90's; and many apartment complexes were "adult only." When that was ruled illegal, a lot more families with school kids moved in to those neighborhoods--but the school properties were gone. It's unfortunate that no one had a crystal ball back then, because the sales of properties definitely came back to haunt everyone. But if you look at it from the districts' perspective at that time, you can see why they made the decisions they did. They had to cut their budgets, could no longer afford all the small, neighborhood schools, and did not anticipate the other events that would so dramatically increase the population here.
Thanks for the info Steve. I was only aware of the Portola School in the northern part of LASD. That was sold off and subdivided for housing in 1979-80. It is now ~45 single-family houses around Delphi Circle and Delphi Court.
Observer, I'm fully aware of the other districts' similar problems. Palo Alto is in a little better shape than LASD. Ventura School is still held as a "surplus school site". You also refer to the recent re-opening of Terman Middle School that was also held in surplus by the City of Palo Alto. Palo Alto and PAUSD have a pretty good relationship with respect to old school sites. There was just a tiny bit more foresight there. However, their schools are still overflowing.
I'm hoping that we can convert the Sears property into a new LASD school. It is 12 acres and no one wants a Home Depot to replace the Sears. I will be petitioning Mountain View City Council to modify the San Antonio Center Precise Plan in the near future.
Who's with me? LASD is planning another bond measure very soon. We need a another elementary school for the northern part of LASD!
Matt, I think the LASD would have to purchase the land that Sears is on from whoever owns it--and that's probably not the City of Mountain View. Not sure how LASD could raise the many, many tens of millions it would probably cost to buy the land and build the school. Even if the city agreed to a precise plan that called for a school there, the district has to buy the property.
They could either buy the property or lease it from the owner, Thoit Brothers. The planned bond measure could be expanded to include the money for the property acquisition. It will need to do that to get my support. It may even need to do that to get me from not actively campaigning against it.
The City of Mountain View only needs to OK a possible use of the property as a school. The precise plan already allows day care centers, so I don't see a why a public school would be prohibited.
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