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City, school district at odds over Cubberley provision

Original post made on Feb 21, 2014

When Palo Alto agreed 25 years ago to lease most of Cubberley Community Center from the school district, both sides had plenty to gain from the arrangement. With the lease for the critical site set to expire and negotiations hitting the final stretch, officials remain at odds over one provision of the long-standing deal.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 21, 2014, 11:10 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by come home to roost, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm

"the task force recommended a long-term plan for shared use of Cubberley between the city and the school district and an investment in repairing the center's aged infrastructure."

Well, the chickens finally come home to roost. I am not a big Kevin Skelly detractor as some, but I think his contributions will long be overshadowed by the monumentally bad decision not to use the Measure A funds available to rebuild Cubberly along with improving Gunn, rather than just building extra space at Gunn to expand that campus.

Measure A was written to quite clearly allow the board discretion to repair rebuild or reopen Cubberly, but after Mr. Skelly arrived, it quickly became clear we would be asked for money again. Chickens...


Posted by SteveU, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

SteveU is a registered user.

For years I have wondered why it was so much better to turn Gunn into a monster campus and bus students in adding to the traffic mess at Foothill and Arastedero, when we had another High School campus going to waste and ruin.
I remember looking over my backyard fence in the 60's and seeing a thriving campus full of LOCAL AREA students.
How is Busing and multiple drop-off car trips a BETTER for the environment solution than true local schools?

Fix the Campus. Design it so it can be easily reconfigured (movable fence) to support any size combination of the 3 school divisions.



Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Honestly, in the end you're going to need both Gunn and Paly to be expanded, as well as re-open Cubberly. It won't be a "one or another" solution. Expanding the existing schools is happening now. Whereas any action on Cubberly couldn't be taken until after the lease was over anyway.

Pay me now or pay me later...but the end result will be the same.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I think the shared use is complicated.
Still, I would knock the crumbling place down entirely (sure needs it) and rebuild it as a wonderful, new up to code high school. IT WAS wonderful as Cubberley HS once upon a time.
Secondarily, a minor portion of land could be used for community/city purposes. Look, we have the huge new Mitchell Park Community Center right down the street -- that should fulfill most "community" needs. I hope they expedite getting that facility open ASAP.


Posted by Erin, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 24, 2014 at 8:58 am

The covenant is not completely obsolete. While Garland may be occupied by a school, it is a private school and there is nothing stopping the school district from selling the site. They have already proven that they are so greedy that they will continue to lease the school space while our neighborhood school enrollment climbs to 550 kids. At the same time, all three middle schools are completely full and Garland could be an easy add-on to Jordan.


Posted by Cubberley User, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

I want to correct one important piece of misinformation in the comments here. The new community center space at the future Mitchell Park Center will NOT "fulfill most community needs." In fact, it will fill a small fraction of the existing community need. The MP site community space is being designed to the same size as the previous MP center. It will not provide adequate space for community choirs and orchestras, dance programs, cultural outreach, child care, art programs, the extensive athletic programming, senior services, and many other programs that currently reside at Cubberley.

A shared city/school use is a really good idea that should be actively explored.

If we lose Cubberley as a community Center, the community service void that will be created will be gigantic. It is very important to understand this.


Posted by Dump Cubberley, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Dump Cubberley and save 10 million a year. Let the rich school district fend for itself.

For 10 million a year the City could do lots of good things for lots of people or just save the money.


Posted by Dean, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Once again in the interests of full disclosure I'm a former Midtowner and Cubberley grad (also De Anza RIP /Wilbur grad).

Should the campus be razed or substantially renovated, I would hope minimally two icons would be saved --- "The Totem" (aka the school yearbook as well the ediface in the middle of campus) and the basketball arena (aka "The Presley Pagoda". If you have to ask who Bud Presley is you were not part of the south Palo scene in the mid 60s).


Cubberley grads are in their mid 50s to early 70s now---the few still in the Palo Alto area will hopefully voice their opinions to the PASD and help preserve some remnant of the campus.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Far less expensive to knock down the Cubberly buildings and build new than to try an renovate the existing buildings.


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