School district closes first land purchase in a half century | November 4, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 4, 2011

School district closes first land purchase in a half century

HP co-founder David Packard guided city's last era of school building

by Chris Kenrick

The Palo Alto school district Tuesday completed its purchase of 2.6 acres of land at 525 San Antonio Road — the first land acquisition for Palo Alto schools in a half century.

This story contains 785 words.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at


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Posted by William
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Why is the District spending more than $8 million for this site when they own the huge Cubberley site immediately adjacent? No wonder the District is having money problems.

And wasn't this the site that just got approval for a 10-unit residential subdivision? I'd have thought that would be more newsworthy than what Packard did in the 50's. Way to stay on the ball, Palo Alto Online.

Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

This is a very good decision by our school board. I believe that it was a mistake to sell off so much school site lands in the past.

The Cubberly site was saved, in the past past, by people like Mike Cobb (thanks, Mike!), who understood how valuable such sites are to our community and our schools. If we lwt this current site get away from us, it would be a VERY expensive mistake.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Good news on the purchase and a very nice article with lots of historical facts. Some I knew, but some was completely new to me. Thank you.

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Posted by paloaltotreewatch
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Nov 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Don't forget how the city council still went ahead and approved the contingent housing plans.
This council - all about buildout and expansion of housing but doesn't care about new infrastructure or that we now all sit in traffic from 5-7pm.
And they could stood with solidarity with PAUSD and not approved the contingent plan.
But no.

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Posted by Response to paloaltotreewatch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 4:30 am

The Council rejected even higher density housing. The land is zoned for single family housing, so the Council did not have a basis for rejecting that housing plan.

Also Terman was reopened when the sale of that site to the City of Palo Alto was almost completed. Stanford University gave the money for renovating that side to the School District as part of the mitigation for the new housing it was building along Sand Hill Road and elsewhere. But the land for the Terman site came from swapping land at Cubberley to the City.

The Utility Users tax we pay was intended to pay for leasing Cubberley so the School District would not sell it (and also to pay for sidewalk repair, but that's another story). That provided valuable revenue for the School District, which was hurting from reduced student population and the effects of Proposition 13. In this case, the City showed more foresight, as the School District was busy closing nearly half the elementary schools (there once were 24) and selling off most of those sites for housing.

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Posted by PA resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

I'm mystified by this purchase, when the district convinced the city not to let Foothill have the 8 acres the city owns at Cubberley, yet still express no intention of buying back that 8 acres, even though the city has offered it, cheap.

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Posted by Edward Perez
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

Whew! I'm glad the day care center will become a school and not housing ... or am i? If it were housing that would mean perhaps 20 new cars rolling in and out of there every morning and evening. As a school, with lets say 500 students, that is 500 cars rolling in and out of there every morning and evening. Across the street is some sort of private campus where the mothers and fathers of the best and the brightest block traffic on an already overcrowded San Antonio Road because the parents of the best and the brightest are bright enough to realize that the back end of their Escalade is sticking out into traffic.

If the Cubberly and pre-school sites are indeed reverted back to school use, you think San Antonio/Middlefield is a mess now? Just wait. Just wait till the old Sears land comes on-line with all its housing and just wait till the renovations on the other end of San Antonio, near 101 come online. The city council is deciding how to increase business (which means more cars) in that area as well.

Middlefield Road should be turned into a Boulevard with medians down the center and one lane of traffic going each way. This would encourage people to use 101 and Alma instead. Challenger school is on Middlefield and Charleston as are several developmentally disabled schools not to mention church row.

This is going to become a madhouse of traffic.

PS: What about that empty parcel just sound of San Antonio on Middlefield next to the car dealership? What if that becomes housing. More cars.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:28 am


A good place to reduce lanes would be on Middlefield near Cubberley but not in Midtown.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.