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Voters reject Los Altos bond measure

Original post made on Nov 4, 2015

A bond measure to fund renovations at a Los Altos park and community center has been roundly rejected by voters in Tuesday's election, according to complete unofficial election results.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 9:21 AM

Comments (46)

Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

Attention Measure A supporters!
You should know that LASD parents actively campaigned against this measure. These people are still clinging to the delusion that city owned Hillview can be converted to a school campus for BCS. These hypocrites complain that Measure A did not have enough specifics in the plan while they ask us to write a blank check to LASD every other year. Please keep this in mind when the LASD parcel tax comes up for renewal next year. They want no new taxes? Fine. No new taxes. And that goes for LASD as well!

Posted by Local Hereo
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 4, 2015 at 10:55 am

Maybe some of the opposition was based on the hope that the City and the school district can work out a partnership to support a new LASD campus in the area of the greater Hillview complex, but there was plenty of opposition that had nothing to do with that. The bond measure was far, far too ambitious given the number of people who would actually benefit. This measure was not just defeated, but defeated by a huge margin given the 2/3 majority required to pass. The difference between almost 70% opposed, and the 66% required to pass cannot be blamed on LASD parents hoping for a Hillview based solution to school growth. I think the community would have supported a bond focused on necessary renovations to aging facilities, but were never going to support this monument to City Council ego embodied in the current "plan".

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 4, 2015 at 12:05 pm

I attend Hillview elementary. School districts should not sell school sites as a rule. Renting is generally wiser. They might need the sites later when enrollment goes back up. But here, with the site owned by the city, there could at least be a discussion of how a site should be used going forward. Of course, when a site is used for other special interests, they become opponents of any change in use. From a distance (here in Mountain View), it appeared that the issue was mostly the "blank check" aspect of the measure. Voters are right to question or reject measures that do not much assure how borrowed bond money will be spent.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I attended. Way back when.

Posted by Stan
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 4, 2015 at 12:29 pm

If this is a time of low construction costs then why is MVWSD over budget on measure G?

Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Mark my words. LASD will exploit the resounding defeat of Measure A and move aggressively to acquire Hillview. Sorry seniors! We tried. You just aren't important in this town.

Posted by Los Altan #2
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

I don't know. The land effectively can't be sold. One reason is the value would be too much for LASD to afford. Another is the city would have to offer it to public auction.

But maybe a 30 year lease, based on the district's statements in public meetings with the city about leasing part of the city hall side of the parcel.

But the price would still be steep, and it would only be a lease. A lot of the opponents don't want the traffic from a 900 student school across the street from them on Hillview Avenue any more than they want an improved community center there.

Posted by Jim
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Los Altan, Why are you trying to make this an "us" versus "them" thing??? I spoke with so many people who were voting "no". None of the reasons had anything to do with schools, but rather cost, ongoing support, minimal help for South Los Altos, too big,... Also, for a median priced home in Los Altos, the annual tax ($33/$1,000) would be roughly $1,000/year, which is absurd. Wondering what your taxes would have been (e.g. prop 13) such that you are so "blindly" for this mongo-open-checkbook project?

Posted by Los Altan #2
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Oh, and with a 30 year lease and an up front payment, the city would have $65 million to use for other improvements, while lASD would be on the hook to remodel Hillview on their own dime (similar to 201 San Antonio Circle).

So if the city takes that $65 million from LASD (or $55 Million or $75 Million), it could STILL build a new community center, though probably not the kids' team swim complex or even a smaller single pool (without the teams, too expensive to operate).

So the city could do this without any vote. The Hillview area would see the traffic from the improved civic/community center on 12 acres of the land (still connecting there of course, as well as San Antonio). Insteaf of a pool on Hillview, they'd have an 8am to 4pm Charter school plus after school usage. Hmm, recipe for more traffic than the city's first plan.

Posted by @Jim
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

When you need a 2/3 majority, every negative voice matters. I noticed a lot of the negative voices had conflicting concerns. They can't all get their way.

But if the money for beefing up the civic/community center comes from losing the Hillview park and community center land there now to LASD, and getting $60 Million in return, then I don't think the south Los Altos folks can complain too much. They won't be paying for it, and they still have THEIR parks in their area. It will be the local area there at Hillview that loses park space to become school space (part outdoor grass and part outdoor blacktop.)

Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Here's an idea. Use the $150M of Measure N bond funds to build a world class state-of-the-art mult-use facility at Hillview that could serve as both elementary school and community center. Since this new facility would be a bit too small for 900 student BCS, move either Santa Rita, Almond, or Covington students to the new state-of-the-art school! Then move BCS to the newly vacated Santa Rita, Almond, or Covington campus. Truly a win-win for all!

Posted by Combo use of Hillview
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

That would do it. The 900 student size would be much larger, but the LASD 500 student schools have about 45,000 square feet of building. Allowing for no portables and growth to 600, the new school space would need to be 55,000 square feet. What a coincidence. So make a 3 story building with a roof top recess area and an elevator. Then the seniors could meet on the ground floor and all the classrooms would be on floor 2 and 3. Recess would be safe because the kids would be on the roof!

Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 4, 2015 at 4:31 pm

@Los Altan Seriously? I doubt very much that BCS school hopefuls had much impact. Most people I talked to who were opposed did not want the huge tax and massive project. Same reason lots of bond measures fail.

Posted by Local Hero
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Hey @BCS Parent -- how about BCS caps it's enrollment at current levels and takes the new Hillview campus you propose? By your standards, any of those other campuses would be too small for 900 kids with the possible exception of Covington. That way you don't disrupt an existing school community and you don't tarnish BCS with the stigma of taking over an existing LASD school (not that BCS parents care about any potential stigma). If BCS shows some flexibility in terms of total enrollment, or space per student, then a scaled back version of your plan might work as long as there was some left over for renovations at the other campuses.

Posted by @Ron
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

It was not the BCS people that sunk Measure A for the community center. It was the BCS-phobic people who don't want BCS at Covington, which is the logical alternative. Also people at Santa Rita fear that their school is vulnerable too because it has such a large acreage. BCS might get split and be both at Santa Rita and at Covington.

It's not the whole of the opposition but a former trustee of LASD wrote a piece for the Los Altos Town Crier advocating something along the lines of not voting for the community center but instead saving Hillview for use by LASD as a 10th school--BCS not mentioned. He also told 2 Los Altos city council members at a public meeting at Hillview that they would have trouble getting a bond passed until the 10th school site was identified. That may be a better way of framing this.

Posted by Local Hero
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 4, 2015 at 5:22 pm

@Ron -- Measure A was sunk by a foolhardy City Council that was delusional about what the community was willing to bear in terms of new taxes and what they were interested in supporting in terms of new facilities. Measure A was going down (hard) with our without the support of LASD.

Now that it's dead however, why not look at creative options for the larger Hillview complex that could result in much less incremental taxes AND a permanent home for BCS? The City Council should re-engage with LASD to develop a joint-use plan for that area. If you take a portion of the Measure N proceeds, AND a more modest community center bond (say $25M or $30M) you could probably develop something pretty cool for everyone.

Posted by Los Altos CUSD
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Here in Grant Park, there was overwhelming opposition to Measure A (yard signs were at least 10 to 1 opposed), and it had absolutely nothing to do with LASD or BCS. The proposal was just too big, too expensive, and too vague; school politics don't enter into it at all. Don't forget, the south 1/3 (or so) of Los Altos is in an entirely different school district!

Posted by Los Altos LASD
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Also don't forget that Los Altos is only 1/2 of what makes up LASD. Any lease of Hillview property should be at market rate, not subsidized by the city.

Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2015 at 11:31 am

The city should not give one inch of Hillview to the LASD bullies. LASD does not need a new school. LASD needs to use the schools they have. Close Covington and move 6th grade to middle school. The city can tear down Hillview and build a nice community center for $10M.

Posted by JT
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Hillview is not the place for BCS. It does not have great access and it is on the small side. BCS is by far the largest LASD school -- right now it has 750 students. Placing a large school there would completely destroy that neighborhood.

Shoving 750 students into 6 acres at Hillview or an office building in the NEC solves nothing - they just won't fit. At best you end up with a third BCS campus.

I don't think the City Council should give in to LASD. They have offered to co-operate and have even suggested that Rosita Park could be used during school hours. That's really generous considering they really didn't have to do that.

Posted by Why the loss
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2015 at 1:08 pm

In the end, Measure A had support of over 28% of those voting. That's substantial, though less than half of what is needed for passage. The Measure A supporters were blindsided by organized well-funded opposition, coming out of the woodwork late in the game. None of these people spoke up appreciably during the last 2 years of deliberation about a new community center. The outreach was extensive. There were 2 billboards put up one in north and one in South Los Altos, on Foothill Expressway and San Antonio Road. This was not secret plan.

The turnout was light. The No people motivated a lot of people to vote.

What people made up the 72% voting no. Well, there are diverse types:

a) Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association through their PAC funded $18.000 worth of anti-A advertising. A lot of these people are just opposed to taxes of any sort for any reason. Besides the PAC, apparently there was another $9,000 spent by opponents as well, but the finances are not clear. One of the mailers had no FPPC registration number as is required.

b) There was substantially more opposition in south Los Altos than in the north. South Los Altos had a sentiment that they were discriminated against because the city-wide community center wouldn't be for them too.

c) There was an organized group of elementary school parents who opposed the idea of revamping Hillview because they have the idea that the city should donate the land to LASD for a new school site, however small and substandard. They don't realize that this would be illegal, that any lease would have to go up for competitive bid.

d) There was a HUGE contingent of anti-pool sentiment. The pool probably caused 30% of the No votes by itself. Ooops.

e) There are those who feel that the library and/or community center should move across the street to one of the downtown parking lot areas. Conversely there are those who see improvement of Hlllview as continuation of the construction boom in downtown Los Altos. Ironic that these two groups both saw a reason to vote no.

f) There were the preschools and the Chinese language school leasing cheap space at the old Hillview now. They were motivated to vote no because they want their leases to continue.

g) There was a lack of clearly communicated motivation for the bond issue. The city council didn't make its case that well. The city needs a better development director. This should have come out BEFORE the city council was faced with a vote. Only those watching very closely could understand the logical nature of the plan. LASD did a much more extensive advertising job using public funds communicating the desire to get more school facilities. It's not clear that was even legal, since they paid for one mailer a month for 3 months before the election. Technically these were just citizen communication pieces, but they definitely stepped up their frequency to support their decision to put a bond before the votes. The city didn't do this. They just sent one weakly worded letter announcing the decision. They tried too hard to stay legal.

Add them all up and it's no wonder that it was easy for the No side to get so many votes. There's no one single reason. It doesn't really even mean there was anything WRONG with the actual plan. Ironic to the max.

Posted by Why the loss
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Correction to the above. Should read:

LASD did a much more extensive advertising job using public funds communicating the desire to get more school facilities. It's not clear that was even legal, since they paid for one mailer a month for 3 months before the election CAMPAIGN STOPPING MORE THAN 90 DAYS BEFORE THE VOTE. Technically these were just citizen communication pieces, but they definitely stepped up their frequency to support their decision to put a bond before the voters.

LASD gave its board a lot more cover in terms of voting to put a bond before the voters. That appears to be what it takes in the face of so many different oppositions.

Posted by out of touch
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm

you have to wonder how out of touch the city officials are. Did they hire a consultant to prepare a survey. If they did no consultant in his right mind would have recommended putting measure on the ballot. Its pure arrogance when a measure fails to get 30%

Posted by Local Hero
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm

@Why the Loss -- In your item C above, you make the claim that there is no way the City could either donate or provide below market lease to LASD for property at Hillview. Please cite the specific laws that govern that. Even if the current city charter prevents that approach, it would not be difficult to put it to the voters for an excpetion. That property was sold to the city by LASD years ago for FAR below market value. Please back up your claim that the reverse would be impossible.

Posted by Arron
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm

What we have here is a bunch of bad politicos. Although if I had select which one was the worse I'd have to go with the LASD Trustees. I am pretty sure the LACC thought they had a decent shot at it, after all measure N passed and well we all know that people voted for that with out any plan presented, so why not go for it? I don't think they took into account that a portion of south Los Altos is in CUSD and didn't vote on measure N. As some of know LASD is not the same as Los Altos.

The LACC also forgot about the Covington neighborhood, they don't like pools AND they don't want another school at the large Covington campus. Even though that would solve the problem of where to house BCS. So the Covington Community along with LASD Trustees ( two of which have kids at Covington) think that the best solution is to have the LACC gift Hillview to LASD. Crazy idea. Why would the LACC do that? LASD has lots of extra land -- they just don't want to use it. They don't even need all of the schools they have right now. Enrollment is going down not up. Let me repeat enrollment is going down. Even with lover enrollment they still need a place to stick BCS -- Covington seems the best idea, but instead LASD thinks that an office park or Hillview is the answer. The office park costs too much, so Hillview it is........ Crazy town.

Let's solve this problem -
Move BCS to Covington.
Move six graders to the middle schools.
Move Covington to Hillview ( lease it from the city or do a land swap)
Build a new rec/senior center at the current BCS site with funds obtained from the lease of Hillview.

Or leave Hillview alone move Covington to the current BCS site, an redraw attendance areas, that way you"ll end up with a new school close to the NEC where you seem to think there might be some new students living in the luxury apartments, someday, any day now.

Posted by History
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2015 at 7:44 pm

There is a false statement that Hillview was sold to the city at a below market rate price. The truth is that LASD had gotten bids for the property from housing developers. The city matched the price from the developers, the definition of the market value of the land.

LASD sold of a lot of other land over the years at amazingly low prices as we look back. However, it was all done at market rates at the time. State laws require no less for all public land sold off.

Posted by LAHistory
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2015 at 11:28 am

Whether or not LASD should have sold off Hillview is a moot point. Hillview school site was sold the Los Altos City Council to preserve the possibility of a potential reopen as a school site in the future. The Los Altos Mayor at the time argued it was best for the city to purchase rather than a private developer to keep the Hillview site safe so that it can one day be changed back to a school when needed.

Time for the current city council members to learn their city history and abandon this grandiose civic center dream that the community has never wanted. Work with LASD and figure out how to reopen Hillview while improving civic center resources both at the Hillview site and other park locations throughout the city.

Posted by Real LA History
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2015 at 12:28 pm

@LAHistory, do you have any proof of what you say? Please provide links to actual articles rather than making things up and pretending they are true.

Posted by LANorma
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Web Link

Web Link

"It is absolutely true that the old Hillview School site was sold by LASD to the City of Los Altos in 1975 with the intention to keep it safe for resuse as a LASD school at some distant date in the future. Is that time now? Carole Kuiper of the local League of Women Voters with the help of the Los Altos History Museum has found the Town Crier articles which document the intention to save the Hillview land for resuse as a school."

Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

It would be really nice if the bullies at BCS would get the message that NONE of the LASD schools should be sacrificed from their benefit. LASD parents have made it quite clear that they are not interested in having their school system disrupted to benefit a pack of bullies. That said, they are also not interested in the "suggestions" of how things in LASD can be rearranged to benefit BCS.

Parents in the district are okay with peaceful coexistence, but they are not about to tolerate yet another attack on the community schools. I can't imagine why the BCS folks are so opposed to the HIllview site as a possible school site to solve the space issue. The only reason to oppose that solution is because it doesn't result in a district school being displaced for their benefit. Since it is obvious that any solution that doesn't disrupt a district school won't satisfy them, I can only conclude that they won't be happy unless the children of other people are made to suffer.

Maybe you should try focusing on solutions that don't inflict harm on others. It would make you look less petty in your actions.

Posted by Local Hero
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2015 at 4:13 pm

@Real LA History -- How about a public apology? FACTS are a troubling thing when they don't support your narrative aren't they?

It's time the City Council lived up to the original intent behind selling the Hillview property to the City in the first place. With a well crafted bond measure, plus Measure N funds, a fantastic new mixed use site could be developed with a new school for BCS, and upgrades to many of the services at that location today.

Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2015 at 11:43 pm

If LASD parents think that Hillview is so great then let's have 500 student Almond move there and locate 900 student BCS at the much larger Almond campus.

Posted by Herodotus
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2015 at 11:28 am

True. “If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ”
― Michael Crichton

We have one potion of the events that lead us here -- LASD sold Hillview to the city. It seems that the thought was that If Hillview was owned by the city it could be sold or leased back to LASD for use as a school. Okay, fair enough. But shouldn't we throw the other Historical events into the mix? Here's a few that come to mind:

1. Deciding to reopen Covington in the first place. Sure, it's nice to have a new district office, ( building office space before actual classrooms, interesting choice) but this decision, in the late 90's lead to where we are now. Covington is an old junior high, not elementary school. Its located close to three other schools. In fact if Covington were closed every single student (except those coming all the way from the NEC) would have another close by, neighborhood school to attend. Opening this school meant that there were not enough funds to redo Bullis Purrisima.

2. Deciding to open Gardner Bullis in 2007. This created a problem, as the expected return of students from the BCS did not happen. Covington students moved to Gardner. LASD was left with an empty Covington -- so over 450 students were moved to fill Covington. That's an entire schools worth of kids that were moved. They were not given a choice. The only students with a choice where those in the LAH section of PAUSD that were given a choice to attend LASD schools. Nice for them. Not so nice for everyone else. At the time BCS was well over 400 students, with a long waiting list. LASD rejected moving BCS to one of the two locations.

3. Selling off LASD properties to developers, all of Portola School, part of Eastbrook School. Carmel School and Eastbrook School were sold to other schools.

The Los Altos School District has a long history of property mismanagement.

The next question to ask is:

Does LASD need Hillview? Are all other options exhausted? For example -- siting two schools at Covington. Switching BCS with Covington and redrawing attendance boundaries. Moving six graders to the middle schools. Combining two LASD schools. Moving the district office. Using Rosita park as play fields during school hours.

Does LASD really need all the schools it has now? There is a clear trend of declining enrollment in the lower grades.

Where would the community center go to? After all as it currently exists, Hillview does function as a community center,sports fields, park, senior center, community theater, office space and preschool. It also has a large parking lot that is used by library and history house visitors. These functions would have to cease during school hours.

Where would the funds to redesign Hillview come from? Would school funds be spent on moving a community center? While Hillview can continue as a community center it could not serve as a school, the buildings are far from meeting codes for schools and would not be able to be used as a school, charter or otherwise.

If LASD was able to lease or purchase Hillview from the City -- what kind of school would be placed there? All of BCS, which is soon to cap out at 900 students? An LASD school? Part of BCS?

If funds are spent on Hillview, will there be any funds left to make improvements at other LASD schools?

Posted by LA History
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

The part about contemplating reopening Hillview as a school once again rather than tearing the buildings down and building homes might be true.

But not so many years in the future, and not after so many additional LASD properties were sold. It was a matter of slowing change. It would not logically have been expected to have included waiting 40 years to reopen a school there. Not at all. Long ago Los Altos converted Hillview to community center use.

Also note that some of the opposition to the changes at Hillview come from those organizations which currently lease space there. They aren't going to support abandoning the current uses, closing up shop, and turning Hillview back into a school. Also note that the renovation costs of the site for school use exceed the price for tearing the building down and building a new school.

If you seek to rewrite history, more recently than buying Hillview, Los Altos purchased Rosita Park. The purchase was made to provide a resource for city-wide use. The neighbors there like to pretend it is their right to have Rosita as a neighborhood park, even more than the Hillview neighbors have to that park. Flufferduff.

Posted by Local Hero
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm

@LA History -- your last post is nothing more than pure opinion and conjecture. How about that apology? You basically called the poster a flat out liar, when it was YOU who had the facts wrong. And no matter what passage of time, the original intent behind the transaction between LASD and the City is relevant and matters even today. An innovative, shared use design including a school for BCS (and yes, perhaps they need to back off of their hallowed 900 student target -- "small school" my a$$), could become a REAL showpiece for the city and a great example of partnership with the district and creative use of public resources. Sadly, you and the rest of the BCS cabal cling to the vengeful notion of taking over Covington for the charter school. The voters have spoken dude. You lose.

Posted by @Local Hero
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2015 at 6:27 pm

You're the one tossing around unfounded accusations. Everything posted here is an opinion, but your opinion is the one that is insulting. Enough Said.

Posted by CuppaJoe
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2015 at 11:16 am

I think its funny that, in the second post of this article, "Local Hero" tried to deflect blame for the Measure A defeat away from LASD. However, subsequent posts by "Local Hero" and others reveal that, yes, indeed, this is all about LASD and their secret desire to site BCS at Hillview. Please note that "Local Hero" is also writing posts at LATC trashing BCS for winning a $2500 grant! So, thank you "Local Hero". BCS parents and Los Altos seniors will remember this when the LASD parcel tax comes up for renewal next year. Good luck getting the 2/3 majority needed to pass that.

Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm

All of this back-and-forth about esoteric school politics misses the point. It's perfectly simple. The Los Altos City Council wanted to build a Taj Mahal when they could instead do a modest community center. The pools were major overkill. Why are we even talking about THREE pools during a drought. Why can't the community have access to the pool at LAHS when the school isn't using it?

Posted by @Steve Ly
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 9, 2015 at 4:32 pm

@Steve Ly

I believe that both MVHS and LAHS pools are both used by community groups at times when they're not being used by students or school sports teams.

Posted by Pool Guy
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2015 at 5:08 pm

A lot of people here criticizing the building of pools during a drought. Pools don't waste water. The water is continually cleaned, filtered, and recirculated.

Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 10, 2015 at 12:27 pm

If the goal of BCS was a permanent site, rather than avenging itself against LASD, they would be working with the district to get themselves a permanent site that does NOT displace another school community.

Unfortunately, since they seem to be happy with the idea of getting a site ONLY when another school is displaced, we can only conclude that this is a vendetta of sorts.

It is clear that, with the 900+ enrollment goal they have, NONE of the current schools will ever satisfy them. Each year, they scratch and claw for "equal space" so why should anyone think that they will simply be satisfied with one district school site? It was laughable that they claimed they would be happy with taking the Gardner Bullis site, which is large enough for about 400 kids. Why would anyone think they wouldn't seek more to be "equal"?

Frankly, until I see an honest attempt by BCS to secure space WITHOUT disrupting the children of others, I am unlikely to believe the veracity of anything they say.

Posted by 10th site for LASD
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2015 at 1:34 pm

This is not a BCS problem. It's LASD that needs additional housing for a school which just happens to possibly provide a home for BCS. LASD has been for some time investigating buying a 10th site at 201 San Antonio Circle. Just 4 acres, this is not up to LASD's standard school size. It makes no sense, but especially, it makes even less sense to house BCS. This isn't BCS's fault. LASD has promised the city of Mountain View that this site will be used to house local students nearby, to get the city to agree to contribute money to purchase park land to go with the 4 acre site. It's LASD which is not looking for a home for BCS. You're kidding yourself if you think they would accept any input at all from BCS on the matter.

Posted by 11th site for LASD
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

If you split Covington into 2 8 acre schools, this does not displace any existing school. LASD hasn't been willing to put this zero-cost land idea first on their list. It would produce an 11th site for LASD (plus the one on San Antonio in MV). This 11th site would be much better and large than the one at San Antonio. Both schools at San Antonio would be significantly larger than the one on San Antonio, BOTH OF THEM, not just the new one. An 8 acre site for Covington would be perfectly fair. It's about the same as Gardner, Loyola or Oak, if you realize those 10 acre sites house private preschools on LASD-owned land besides housing an LASD school.

Posted by Local Hero
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm

@11th site -- What you see people reacting to is that most BCS supporters on these forums don't suggest a site split as you described. They suggest just handing over Covington in total. And even if you did split the site, what makes you think that BCS would accept an 8 acre parcel given their planned 900 student size? Historically, they have fought tooth and nail for every square inch of "reasonably equivalent" facilities they believe they are legally entitled to. I doubt that will change in the near term.

The other issue is that putting two schools, totaling over 1400 students into that site would devastate the surrounding neighborhood in terms of traffic. The Hillview site is on a major street, with two lanes in each direction. Dedicated turn lanes and stoplights at the entrance could manage the traffic far more effectively than any potential access to Covington.

Posted by Dev
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2015 at 4:36 pm

I am not really understanding the comments here -Should BCS kick students out so that LASD can have larger enrollment? That doesn't make any sense to me. I thought that LASD was worried about increasing enrollment? I would think that LASD is happy that BCS is attracting so many students. Think how crowded LASD schools would b be without BCS.

Also there is that long waiting list of LASD residents wanting to get a place at BCS, that list is sure to grow. Didn't BCS just score tops in the state?

The second thing I don't understand is why a few of the posters here and the LASD board of Trustees are so interested in spending most of the bond on a real estate purchase or lease? Once this land is purchased they will still need to build the school. Property and building costs will easily add up to 100 million or so. Isn't there some other fixed cost involved here, something about 40 million or so to bring Covington up to code? That's all of the bond spent on just two schools. Nothing left for anyone else. Its like they are taking most of bond fund and spending it on a new ( yet way to small) school for BCS. Weird.

Posted by Bill Hough
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

What does all of this arcane school minutia have to do with Measure A? The city proposed a gold plated center and a huge tax increase to pay for it.

It was defeated, showing us that the voters retain some common sense. I can't imagine that this esoteric LASD/BCS nonsense had much to do with it.

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