Guest opinion: Consider more land options for new school site | June 16, 2017 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - June 16, 2017

Guest opinion: Consider more land options for new school site

by Lou Becker, Ginny Lear and other members of Creative Facilities Solutions

Since the passage of the Los Altos School District's Measure N, 31 months ago, our school board has focused exclusively on finding new land suitable for building a tenth school. While we applaud its efforts, students continue to wait for better facilities.

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4 people like this
Posted by Time to re-invent thinking
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 16, 2017 at 4:06 am

Yes, of course the Los Altos School District should consider adding a school on an existing school site (or expanding the school there). That is what the MV-Whisman District is doing at Slater School on Whisman Road. Since the MV-Whisman District leased out most of the site to Google for daycare, it had to innovate and is set to build on a portion of the land there. Do school officials from neighboring districts ever even talk or read the MV Voice to learn what's happening? The Los Altos School District might also want to consider that some school children in Mountain View get to school on buses which have something called WHEELS. They are round and allow the buses (and other vehicles) to ROLL down the road. Really amazing. Worth looking into.

3 people like this
Posted by Back to the Future
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2017 at 5:12 am

This whole situation is ironic. The solution has been staring them in the face for 20 years. The elephant in the room is the crappy facilities currently cobbled together for the Charter school, which is the biggest school serving LASD students.

The district has had absolutely no problem with Egan Jr High occupying 12 acres of land and 2/3 of the charter school using the other 7 acres. BOTH the 12 acre and 7 acre portion of the 18.8 acre Egan site are INCREDIBLY inefficient in their use of land. The district hired an architect who showed how the 12 acre portion could handle an entire extra grade level (6th) on the same 12 acres with a small wing of new classrooms added. The middle school model keeps the classrooms in use all day long instead of many sitting empty for nearly half the day. This didn't even address the very old ancient buildings that form most of the Egan campus in stark contrast to Blach across town. They have a massive portable building that holds all the restrooms surrounded by open space like some sort of National Park site in the wild. The charter school at Egan is ENTIRELY out of portables in an awful arrangment serving 600 students.

So new land is not needed. Just build more modern purposed-designed buildings, as is the case at Blach Jr High in LASD or at the Crittenden and Graham in MVWSD. It's not rocket science.

Trustees have been so caught up in a past history of disrespecting and belittling the Charter school that they haven't noticed that the situation has changed... New land is a pipe dream with a big cost. But what the heck, the taxpayers of the state could fund $200 Million worth of new land and $100 Million of construction if they wait long enough.

3 people like this
Posted by Back to the Future(s)
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2017 at 5:26 am

Forgot to say that part of the problem is LASD having sold off a 2nd site on East Portola that was a 10 acre elementary school serving the El Camino area, back in the 1980's They're dead set at recreating that site, since it was sold off by mistake. But the 19 acres at Egan are really enough. Other middle schools fit quite well on as little as 10 acres. There are big city/district facilities for Mountain View which mean in practice Crittenden and Graham fit on about 10-12 acres as well. LASD is really thinking it needs to add land to Egan for Middle School purposes, which just is not so. I think they need a visioning process to heal themselves from the mistake they made in selling off the other Portola School. Egan is really quite close to El Camino Real. The elementary school for the El Camino area could just as well be at Egan. It's not unusually distant from the homes in Mountain View that are part of LASD. Just look at the attendance areas for the MVWSD elementary schools. The smallest would extend up to Portola if an area were drawn to match it but within LASD territory bordering Central Expressway at San Antonio Road.

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