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'Shared campus' could be model for Cubberley

Original post made on Jun 29, 2013

A new public high school that shares Cubberley Community Center with child care centers, dance studios and other local organizations was the vision painted recently by a community advisory committee on the future of the 35-acre site.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, June 29, 2013, 10:14 AM

Comments (13)

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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Why is this news? In March a committee that made some recommendations about something that might happen 15 years from now mentioned something that sounds like something in Ohio.


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Posted by David
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:21 pm



Does the plans include a low-cost community pool option? South Palo Alto has very few options to a pool that is affordable. Since most high schools have a pool, does this city-school plan include a city-school pool?


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Posted by Don't understand
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Why does the committee keep believing multi-use space is best for the City? Why don't they start converting Paly and Gunn to see if it works, before turning massive fund into another disaster.


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Posted by ARGH!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2013 at 2:01 am

(That was the sound of me smacking my forehead over and over again.)

Now I am hyperventilating.

Argh! Shared use? COULD WE NOT HAVE JUST ALLOWED FOOTHILL TO SPEND $40 MILLION PUTTING IN A BRAND NEW SATELLITE CAMPUS ON THE 8 ACRES THERE LIKE THEY WANTED TO??????

As for the other users --
1) THERE WILL BE A BRAND NEW COMMUNITY CENTER GOING IN SOON (Did the City not provide for any of those uses there?? It wouldn't surprise me, but...)

2) The City should absolutely use some of the Stanford money to buy property to make community-beneficial activities and classes possible. The School district should not be responsible for this, though.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

The idea of a low-cost pool is just not viable. It would have to be heavily subsidized. Pools are expensive to build and maintain. Which is why the three middle school pools are closed for most of the year.

The reality is that the existing HS pools are fully subscribed during the school year (for PE and then athletic teams). During the summer the two HS pools only stay open because teams rent the pool (from sun up until 8pm most days) from PAUSD. If the teams did not pay rent to PAUSD, those pools would be closed for the summer as well. No doubt that if/when Cubberly is rebuilt, the HS pool would need to run on a similar revenue model to stay open.

The other part of the PAUSD rental model is that the teams renting the pools have to provide their own insurance and staff with credentialed personnel. Running a recreation pool like Rinconada requires that the city insures the facility and provide the safety services personnel.

The only reason Riconada stays open on a year-round basis is because PASA (USA swimming club) rents the pool 365. Otherwise that pool would shut down for 9 months a year as well.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2013 at 8:03 am

One other point on HS pools. The pools are built primarily for competition, not for recreation. Both HS pools are 25y wide by ~35m long and are all-deep except for the first lane. They need all-deep pools for water polo - which requires a minimum 7ft depth. And the one shallow lane is at about 4.5ft, not shallow enough for young kids. These pools are not a safe environment for small children and/or early swimmers.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

There used to be a swimming pool at Cubberley until one night a teenage boy dove in, hit his head on the bottom, and was killed. Since the City is self insured they had to pay out Millions in compensation and the pool was filled in.

Perhaps Dave you'd be willing to pay for liability insurance then we can have another swimming pool.


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Posted by Shared Use is a good idea.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Shared use on this site is a really good idea. The school district said that Foothill would not be a good programming partner for them. Further, in my opinion, Foothill is a REGIONAL program. It would have drawn a lot of car traffic and required a lot of parking--which the nearby streets and site cannot support. LOCAL uses would enable people to use LOCAL transit and walk and bike, reducing the number of cars.

Further, the committee showed that the site could accommodate comparable facilities to those at Paly & Gunn on the existing site PLUS community uses. We CAN have both.

The location of this site is ideal for a school and community center use, enabling students to walk and bike to after-school activities from school sites (Cubberley is located on several school commute routes.) It will probably take ten to fifteen years to get the planning and necessary agreements and community support for such a project. If we start phased work now, it will be ready when we need it.

As our population grows, these are the kinds of creative and cost-effective solutions we'll need. It's a good idea.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Who is on the committee? What affiliations do the committee members have?

Are there any representatives from PAUSD?


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Posted by Chris Kenrick Palo Alto Weekly Staff Writer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Crescent Park Dad,

Here's some info, including member names, on the Cubberley Community Advisory Committee, which met for months and issued a lengthy report on the future of Cubberley back in February: Web Link


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Shared facilities are just not going to work. Remember Columbine and New Bridge. After Columbine the State allowed School District to stop strangers entering School campuses.

Why do you suppose Terman has an 8' fence around their classrooms and an ugly sign which tells ordinary people who want to visit the campus to report to the main office?

However, nearly all the facilities that are on the Cubberley campus can fit onto the City's 8 acres. That would still give the School District 27 acres for a High School.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Thanks. Looks like there is no representation from PAUSD staff or PAUSD BoE. Former BoE's though.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm

To be fair, both Gunn and Paly do allow community use of their campuses today. The difference being that the high schools control the scheduling and have absolute priority on all facilities. As it should be. The surrounding community is going to have to reset it's expectations on who gets first dibs and when the facilities might be available.

I agree with Resident, the concept of inter-mingling during school hours and/or school days will not happen. And the folks who are hoping for unmitigated access to gyms, fields and pool are going to get a reality check. Check out how tied up the Gunn and Paly athletic facilites can become during the school year. Between HS practices and events, there's essentially no availability for recreation or youth sports during school year weekdays and evenings.


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