Architectural plans for a new athletic center for Palo Alto High School funded largely by a private donor will be unveiled at the Board of Education meeting tonight.
The "schematic designs" follow the March 19 board approval of "conceptual plans" for the facility, comprising two sunken gyms on either side of the school's aquatic center to be connected by a covered walkway architecturally echoing that which connects Paly's Tower Building with Haymarket Theatre.
Aside from $5.47 million from the school district, the majority of funds for the $20 million-plus project will come from the Peery family which has sent three generations to Paly in what's believed to be the largest single donation to the school district in its history.
The family's history in Palo Alto dates back to 1924, when Taylor Peery arrived to attend Stanford University, running an orange juice company to support his studies. His son Richard Peery made a fortune along with his business partner John Arrillaga after property they acquired in the 1960s became valuable Silicon Valley commercial real estate.
In other business tonight, the board is set to approve the district's priorities for 2013-14, reflecting hundreds of hours of discussion at the board, committee and staff levels.
The 12 goals -- including things like "increase small group instruction" and "ensure safe and positive school environments" are tied to initiatives in the district's strategic plan, originally created in 2008 and updated this past spring after a months-long effort.
Ken Dauber, cofounder of the group We Can Do Better Palo Alto which has been critical of the board and Superintendent Kevin Skelly, said the proposed 2013-14 goals represent a retreat on earlier stated commitments to improve guidance counseling services at Gunn High School, address the problem of multiple tests and projects being due on the same day and implementing a new policy that limits the amount of time students spend on homework.
"This year's goals reflect an unfortunate backward step from the progress made over the last several years in addressing student social-emotional health and reducing unnecessary academic stress for our students," said Dauber, a Google engineer who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the board last November.
Tonight's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave. It will be streamed live by the Midpeninsula Community Media Center.