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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Time to move school district headquarters

Uploaded: May 3, 2022
Pleasanton school officials and trustees are headed in the right direction with the plan to relocate the district headquarters to buildings in Hacienda Business Park.
The district’s parcel bounded by First Street, Bernal Avenue and Abbie Street is under-utilized and would be an ideal new neighborhood. Current plans call for a portion of the site to be sold for housing while Village High could be moved on the site and rebuilt. Most of the buildings date to the 1950s when it was a school and were refurbished after the elementary and high school districts unified. The report to trustees noted that dry rot and other deterioration had been seen in the 70-year-old buildings. It also, because it is tiered on a hillside, has significant issues for accessibility for disabled people.
There are options on the table to clear the site entirely. Senior staff have been negotiating to purchase two buildings in Hacienda Business Park across from Hart Middle School. One space is currently leased, while the larger building is available to consolidate district office operations. With the real estate market in flux because of the pandemic and many companies re-evaluating their use of space, it’s an ideal time to consider moving so the entire site can be sold for residential development. It’s the best use of that site and likely will fetch a handsome price that could be used to offset the other purchase as well as improvements.
Buying existing buildings cost about one-third as much as new construction for office buildings.
The continuation school doesn’t require the same type of facilities as the comprehensive high schools and likely could also find a home in one of the city’s various business parks. The maintenance and transportation department also could find a new home in a business park. There’s plenty of space available.
Moving ahead will give district leaders the opportunity to upgrade and modernize the facilities so they can serve more efficiently than the recycled former school site.
It also will be a win for the city, allowing needed housing near downtown and creating tax revenue from property tax and sales tax from residents.
It’s a good idea and the time is right.

Democracy.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of Village High School,
on May 3, 2022 at 4:31 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

You wanna move a HS to an office building? Um, er, ah.....ok.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Kathleen+Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on May 6, 2022 at 8:20 am

Kathleen+Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Not if it is part of a $450mm bond"rumored to seek board approval in June"a time when parents, in particular, will not be paying attention to what is happening because school will be out for the summer. There is also the promise not to bond the $35mm for the elementary school that now will not be built (and Donlon's “excess" space is expected to be sold).

In addition, the district still has funds to bond from the current bond that we will pay for until 2047ish (nearly half a billion with interest). We do not need a $450mm bond that will cost roughly $1 billion to pay off (rough guess with interest).

There is also a phrase in the resolutions the board passes and few pay attention to: the district does not have to do the projects listed for the bond, even if they have the money to do them.

We should all watch this carefully. It is too much money with no real assurance the listed projects will be done.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Jarred, a resident of Val Vista,
on May 7, 2022 at 7:53 pm

Jarred is a registered user.

One of the commenters on Tim Talk writes that Donlon's "excess" space is expected to be sold. I wonder where they heard that. The 1,100 residents that signed the "Save Donlon Field" petition would not agree with that statement.
Link to the petition here:
Web Link

The Donlon Field land is far from "excess" space. Doubting the residents of Val Vista or the Donlon community will vote for the aforementioned "450 million PUSD bond" referred to above if a single building goes on the student's field, which also the community has fought to protect for decades.

If PUSD does sell any Donlon Elementary school green space, it will show they have no regard for the mental health, emotional health, or physical health of the PUSD elementary school with the largest number of elementary school students in the district and the most special education classes, nor the community that cradles it. If this was happening in Vintage Hills, it is highly unlikely it would be suggested that the green space directly bordering Pleasanton students would be expected to be sold for housing.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen+Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on May 8, 2022 at 8:35 am

Kathleen+Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Donlon space, now not slated for a school, was added to a list of properties the district would like to sell, along with Neal and the DO. That doesn't mean the neighborhood can't fight its sale, just that it is listed. I imagine it is what started “Save Donlon Field" campaign.


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