School district to cancel Garland re-opening

Extension of private school lease likely later this month

The Palo Alto school district is retreating from a plan to re-open Garland Elementary School, amid budget uncertainties and slowing enrollment growth.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:02 am

Barb,it's a Unified School District. Far flung is usually less than five miles away. Between parents, bicycles and carpools, oh, and let's not forget the nannies, transportation is not a big deal for most families.

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Posted by Barb Champion
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:02 am

A difficult decision to make, I am sure, after the upfront
architectural costs spent on the proposed renovation of the Garland
campus. However, not sure a lease signing until 2015 is prudent,with a 3
year "notice", for the obvious reasons.Garland would be a fine elementary school just the way it is, with some minor updating, should PAUSD need additional classroom space in the future and would be a much more appropriate size for the site and the neighborhood than the recently cancelled proposed expansion.

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Posted by Kirkland
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:21 am

I really hope they stick with this decision. Finally some good, sound, fiscal decision making.

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Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm

A fiscally-prudent decision here; congratulations to the Board for a willingness to revisit an earlier decision.

Why a three (3) year notice to Stratford?; is three (3) years standard in today's marketplace?

Why not two (2) years?; offhand, it seems two (2) years gives both sides -- PAUSD; and Stratford -- ample time here.

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Posted by SLE
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 5, 2009 at 2:13 pm

"A fiscally-prudent decision here." Well, maybe, but it would have been nice to have more data. How old is the last demograpers' report?

And of course they're plowing ahead with the 24-carat pool at Gunn and other nifty features included in the bond, so I'll wait to conclude that the board has become truly prudent.

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Posted by Harry
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Avoiding a $15 million expense seems prudent in this budget environment, but it is hard to imagine that such an expenditure is necessary given that Stratford does just fine in the current facility and PAUSD did before it. I'd like to see the Board do a better job with demographics and modest facilities expenditures.

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Posted by Jim
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Aug 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm

A very sound financial decision. Let's use the lease money on the existing schools!

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Posted by SLE
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 8, 2009 at 8:30 am

"Avoiding a $15 million expense seems prudent" Depends. If the district really is growing, and we are locked into another three years with Stratford, and we end up having to install temporary structures around the district AND rebuild Garland, then it's not so prudent. The real question is what is happening demographically.

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Posted by Jon S
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I recall Dr. Skelly making a big deal about district enrollment growth, however it's not surprising that the economic slowdown has put the dampener on growth. It sounds good for the next batch of PAUSD students

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