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Palo Alto Unified maps out short- and long-term plans for Cubberley

Original post made on Oct 20, 2021

After years of uncertainty and community brainstorming, the Palo Alto Unified School District is closing in on a plan for its portion of Cubberley Community Center, the rundown 35-acre former high school in south Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 9:51 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 20, 2021 at 10:51 am

Citizen is a registered user.

Politicians all.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 20, 2021 at 11:17 am

Anonymous is a registered user.

This is incredible, valuable, centrally located land.
I support thoughtful decisions and use by the Palo Alto School District.
An option of a future high school certainly suits.
Cubberley was wonderful.
Use as temporary location while nearby elementary schools are renovated (hopefully, quicker process) makes sense.
Otherwise, no parceling out to oddball uses or special interest groups.
DON’T sell to developers or private commercial schools!!

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Two elementary schools to be renovated!

I thought we had B4E and other construction in the past 20 years to make the schools fit for the next 50 years. What is it with PAUSD that they want to knock down what was built in recent memory?

The next thing is we will be asked for another parcel tax or bond to raise money for this!

It is wrong to think that they can come back asking for more money to replace things that we paid for a decade ago!

Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 20, 2021 at 3:17 pm

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[Post removed. Violation of terms of use.]

Posted by PA Community Advocate
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2021 at 9:04 pm

PA Community Advocate is a registered user.

Do you really trust these bureaucrats to actually produce results? They have been talking about renovating Hoover for over a decade. Time for some new competent leaders of the PAUSD.

Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 21, 2021 at 10:14 am

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

Has Palo Alto's population increased to the point where a new high school is now warranted?

Cubberley was closed decades ago due to a declining student enrollment in Palo Alto.

The PA Online description of the site as, "the rundown 35-acre former high school in south Palo Alto.." is apt and if the PAUSD is to proceed with utilizing the property again, the old Cubberley buildings should be demolished as they are both an eyesore and an outdated design.

And its shared property status between the City of Palo Alto & the PAUSD should be terminated.

Either build a new high school or sell the property off for future development (aka housing).

The Mountain View Union High School District sold the old MVHS campus site on Castro Street many years ago and made a killing off the development.

Palo Alto could easily do the same.

Posted by Yousef Mahim
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Yousef Mahim is a registered user.

Palo Alto could also consider establishing a subsidized housing complex on this site to accommodate the many refugees and immigrants who wish to settle in the United States and embark on a new life.

Since Palo Alto and its residents supposedly embrace cultural diversity, this measure would be a step in the right direction.

Then again, it could all be lip service smothered in closet NIMBYism.

Posted by Erin Jacobs
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 21, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Erin Jacobs is a registered user.

I think many Palo Altans would welcome an influx of refugees and immigrants seeking a new life in America.

Some could get jobs at Google or work in restaurants while others attended Foothill College to acquire the necessary job skills and education needed for higher-paying jobs.

Until then, the state and county should provide living assistance and the Cubberley location would be an excellent site for a projects-type, high-rise settlement to accommodate new residents from abroad.

Our children would then learn to intermingle with other children from around the world and hopefully they would not grow up to be racists and bigots like those in other parts of this country.

The local churches could also get actively involved via fundraisers, charities, and social gatherings.

The demographics in Palo Alto have changed over the past years and so why not go all the way and have a true melting pot of diverse cultures, languages, and various religious faiths?

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2021 at 5:34 am

Citizen is a registered user.

You and I may be the only ones who noticed that we got so little for a previous bond of almost $400million. The bond promised that renovations would be indistinguishable from new construction (pause to wipe a tear and the milk coming out of my nose).

It’s a good thing to just build a new campus at Hoover. Personally wish they had built a new campus at Cubberly and moved kids into a NEW building temporarily, not into these old buildings that are just factories of poor indoor air quality. Even the ones with expensive paint jobs from past bonds.

If the pandemic wasn’t enough to get them to care about the health of our kids’ and teachers’ lungs and how indoor air quality affects learning, attendance, and potential spread of disease, I guess nothing will.

Thinking innovatively, a rebuilt Cubberly could be a great campus for a hybrid model of learning to attract back those who discovered the hamster-wheel model of education isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for their kids.

Posted by ConsiderYourOptions.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2021 at 12:39 pm

ConsiderYourOptions. is a registered user.

How will the city and school district address auto traffic impacts on nearby neighborhoods and their school routes of serially moving elementary school strands from all over the city to this area?

Make a plan now.

Posted by Ashley Tseng
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2021 at 9:29 pm

Ashley Tseng is a registered user.

To Bystander and all who might not attend the Oct 19th school board meeting or having the time to review the agenda, Please look at this PAUSD elementary- current status chart. Web Link

As you could see from the chart, B4E and other construction never happened at Hoover when all the other elementary school has done it in the past 20 years. Hoover has the oldest administration (1952) library (1969) restrooms (1957) resource center (1957) classroom (1952-57). We are happy for all other elementary schools has new updated classrooms, buildings in the 2001-until recently but we are sorry that it hasn't done at Hoover.

Hoover has been waiting patiently for the past decade for it's turn. Hoover rebuild was approved before pandemic and paused last year. We are really grateful that the school board members and property meeting members showed compassion and care regarding Hoover rebuild and take actions to process it now.

Board members receive 4 options recommendations from Eric Holm and came down with option4 rebuild completely instead of option2 still keep some 1957buildings for long turn benefit. So when all other elementary schools progressed to 21 centenary buildings, they won't need to come back to rebuild the 1957 buildings at Hoover which can save money. Hoover has the smallest lot (5.6 Acres) but has been always have above medium size student numbers (400 students.) Recess and lunch time has been very crowded. Option 4 will give the campus a chance to redesign the layout to release much more outdoor spaces for the kids and safer route for pick up and drop off.

Even my kids very likely won't be able to experience the new campus, I am very happy for the school and teachers that they could have a nicer building and environment to serve future students. Hope my sharing help you understand it more clearly and you would support Hoover rebuild too. Thank you very much!!

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2021 at 6:19 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Ashley. Thanks for your response. If what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, then it is still bad press for PAUSD. It sounds then that they hoodwinked the community telling us that this was for all schools bringing all campus facilities, buildings, etc. at all schools for 21st century updates. If they left out a school, that is their fault not ours!

Since I moved to Palo Alto and sent children to Palo Alto schools, we have been in building sites at all schools. My kids' memories are all about changing classrooms into portables - sometimes mid year, having noise and visitors from construction, reduced playground space and all the inconveniences. We put up with it of course because we felt that the next generation of schoolkids would benefit. However it seems that was wrong.

PA Weekly, it would be very intersting for you to do a complete journalistic report of what has happened to the various bonds, parcel taxes, etc. and the updates to schools over the past 25 years or so. We are not pleased about having the wool pulled over our eyes on this and have yet again to finance more school updates when we thought this was all over for 50 years.

Posted by Ashley Tseng
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2021 at 6:17 am

Ashley Tseng is a registered user.

Hi Bystander,

it's my 4th year in Palo Alto so I didn't know much about the history. Most of the current board members were in their 1st and 2nd turns too so I wouldn't blame them for this too. Rather, I see how diligently the current board members try to work together to support all students with a safer, healthier and more enriching learning environment in all PAUSD schools.

Here is the Hoover master plan website which briefly explain why Hoover was not included in the build for excellence program.

".... Hoover was built in 1953....The site did not receive the typical upgrades during the Building for Excellence program since it was retired during the 1996 bond and was not included in the bond language. However, some mechanical, fire alarm and lighting improvements and upgrades were built in 2005 as well as some cosmetic improvements. "

The board members are at the positions making big decisions according to the needs of the students and community which is definitely not an easy job. I appreciate they reach out to hear the needs of all and try to provide options (like during pandemic, not all families need to return back to in person, they could opt to stay online) with respect to all. In return, I would like to respect them for their hard work. Thank you current board members for all keeping your visions and working hard to support our students academically, mentally with a quality and inclusive learning environment.

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