As Foothill College scours for places to expand its campus, Palo Alto officials hope the college will continue to keep Cubberley Community Center in mind.
The City Council plans to hold a public hearing on June 27 to discuss a possible sale of about 8 acres of land at Cubberley, located at 4000 Middlefield Road, to the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. The district has issued a request for offers from the private sector and has set a June 30 deadline for responses.
Palo Alto City Manager James Keene said the district also asked Sunnyvale and Palo Alto to indicate if they would be interested in selling land to the district.
The council has been mulling a deal with Foothill for well over a year. The college currently leases a portion of the Cubberley site for its "Middlefield Campus," which serves about 1,000 full-time students. Foothill officials have been considering building a new "education center" at Cubberley since at least 2008. City and college officials entered negotiations at that time, but did not reach a resolution.
In March 2010, the council voted 8-1, with Sid Espinosa dissenting, to re-enter negotiations with the college district. Earlier this month, council members discussed the potential sale of the site in a closed session (there was no reportable action).
In addition to the city-owned 8 acres, about 27 acres of Cubberley are owned by the Palo Alto Unified School District and leased to the city.
Keene said he recommended holding a hearing on Cubberley later this month to get direction from the council, the public and school district officials on whether to pursue negotiations with Foothill. If the city makes a deal with Foothill, the college's share of the community center would increase by 43 percent.
"Given Foothill's deadline, we're putting this item on the council's agenda to see if they'd like to keep the conversation going with Foothill and to signal our interest in possibly being considered as a site," Keene said. "If we don't submit some sort of letter of interest, we'll basically be out of consideration with Foothill and the expansion of their campus will go to some other city."