Wise decision by school trustees to halt new school at Donlon | Tim Talk | Tim Hunt | DanvilleSanRamon.com |


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By Tim Hunt

Wise decision by school trustees to halt new school at Donlon

Uploaded: Nov 17, 2020

Pleasanton school trustees have taken a wise step to put the new school on the Donlon Elementary campus on hold.

It was just a month ago that it appeared the school for fourth and fifth graders was a done deal when trustees approved sending the plans to the state for approval. Now, after the staff has noted the enrollment growth has slowed and there may be other ways to accommodate students, trustees dove deeply into the issue last Thursday evening and decided to hold off.

Good call.

The last thing the city needs is an expanded school that may be in the right place in the short term, but could be a location mis-match in the long term. The new plan calls for expanding classrooms at Lydicksen Elementary that is currently being rebuilt and then changing boundaries to balance the student populations between 700 and 800 students per site.

Should another school—elementary or kindergarten through 8th grade—be necessary, the district staff suggested it could be constructed on a site donated by the developer in East Pleasanton. The plan sets aside $35 million in bond money for that possibility.

The broad plan outlined by Ponderosa Homes for the eastside includes the school site although, given the active adult housing in the plan and other affordable proposals, it’s unlikely that project would generate enough students to require the school.

It is, however, a good location that is easily accessible and located a good distance away from other school sites. A key question, given the change in the City Council that is coming up next month, just when and if that two-year planning process will resume.

Congrats to Dublin Mayor David Haubert who topped Vinnie Bacon to win the First District seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Scott Haggerty, the supervisor for 24 years, is retiring.

Haubert will bring a steady and wise voice to the board. He has a broad range of local experience serving on both the Dublin school board and the Dublin City Council before being elected mayor. During those stints, he’s demonstrated his ability to solve tough challenges both in education and in the city. Those traits will serve both Livermore Valley and county residents well over the next four years.

The First District includes the cities of Livermore and Dublin as well as the vast unincorporated area surrounding Livermore. Supervisor Nate Miley represents Pleasanton as the Livermore Valley will continue to have two voices on the five-member board.