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German school to expand on Whisman campus

Original post made on Apr 2, 2013

With the approval of the board of trustees, the Mountain View Whisman School District has agreed to allow the German International School of Silicon Valley to proceed with the installation of four modular classroom units and one modular bathroom unit on the Whisman Elementary School campus, which the German school has leased from the district for more than a decade.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 10:37 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

So the school district wants to spend millions on building new classrooms on current sites while they renew the German school's lease on a site good enough for a private school?

That part of MV deserves a neighborhood public school! Property values remain low without one as Mr. Nelson pointed out.

Give 'em hell Mr. Nelson. That's why I voted for you!

And is it me, or does the Voice always try to slant opinion away from Mr. Nelson?

Posted by NW Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

The article mentions that the German school has leased this site for more than a decade and they must return the school to its original condition when their lease ends. Does the lease have a term or end date that the German school can opt to renew or not? I see no info on how long the new buildings might be used.

Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

It's my understanding that leasing these sites provides financial support the rest of the district.

Posted by @Observer
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

That part of Mtn View does deserve a school. Many fought like crazy to stop Slater from being closed.

However, unless the enrollment numbers are there, it is good money against bad. The money being spent to add new classroom and repair plumbing on current site is money well spent. It needs to happen.

Adding new classrooms does not require a Principal, added maintenance people, and it does not take away good money that the District is getting from a site.

Mr. Nelson did run on that platform. But, he needs to look at the facts first! I am not interested in throwing money away from all the kids in the District just because ONE Board Member wants it.

The facts! Not mumbo jumbo from either that Board Member nor the District...The facts!

Posted by AJ
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm

@Observer: The district can issue bonds to pay for upgrading & expanding the other schools but it cannot issue bonds to pay for day to day operation of any schools. If they rent out Whisman then they get money to pay for the other schools and they can issue bonds to pay for more classrooms to make up for having less space. If they reopen Whisman then they don't get the rental income, and they have a budget crunch.

I ain't saying this is ideal but that seems to be what is happening. Measure G pays indirectly for normal day to day expenses in the same way that the high school bond to pay for solar panels was a way to pay day to day expenses by reducing the power bill.

Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 3, 2013 at 10:14 am

Rossta is a registered user.

I agree that that part of Mountain View needs to get back a school. But my understanding of the state of the Whisman Campus is that in order for it to be used again by MVWSD, it would practically need to be torn down and rebuilt - it is so far behind on the various required upgrades. So, practically speaking, Slater might be the better choice, even though it isn't located quite as centrally to these neighborhoods.

Let's see the results of the demographic survey and let the numbers speak to the need. Measure G funds are for things like upgrading either of these facilities, though those were just allocated without this need being accommodated.

One more thought... Whisman is housing a school full of students, many of whom are from Mountain View. Slater is housing a day-care for one of the biggest companies on the planet. Which seems like a better use of a school facility? Of course some would decide based upon "who can pay the most?", but the job of MVWSD is not to make money but to house and educate our children.

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm

That area has had it's share of " house flippers " until the recent real estate bust. Not too many LEGAL residents have children in the area.
The other side of Middlefield Road may be different. I've never seen many children in the area, only grown up yuppies using the tennis courts near the school.

Posted by Kinder
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm

There is an article on The Almanac about another German school that is facing closure because its lease is up. I don't know much about it but someone should get these schools together and see if they can find a way to merge and pool their resources.

Posted by Curious
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

How much money is MVWSD getting from the German school lease?

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

Whisman permanent buildings are all "class 1" structures.
Rossta - the best information on the buildings at Whisman is from the Conditions & Needs Analysis done by structural engineering firms in '09-'10. These buildings are all Class 1 (first class) structures that can stand earthquakes with no problem.
At $100,000 per permanent classroom - remodeling this campus seems (IMO) the least expensive way to bring permanent classroom capacity 'back on-line". (new buildings cost at least $500,000 per new classroom). It also relieves the various pressures moving Whisman students into other schools causes (traffic, overcrowdings etc.).

The demographics from the '08 survery and the 2010 US Census all show Whisman neighborhood is already full of school age kids.

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