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Don't sell Cubberley!!!

Original post made by Sarah, Crescent Park, on Jun 15, 2010

There is a possible sale to Foothill College of the part of the Cubberley Community Center that houses all the dance studios, art studios, and many other organizations and activities. This proposal came up a couple of years ago and was rejected, but now apparently is being very strongly reconsidered due to the financial times that the City of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Unified School District are having to deal with. The public is invited to the meeting this Wed. June 16. Please come to show your support for keeping dance, art, and music, among other things, going in our vibrant community center. This is serious.

Meeting begins at 6 PM on June 16 in the Council Chambers on the first floor of City Hall at 250 Hamilton Avenue.

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Comments (8)

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2010 at 11:46 am

Oh no, my daughter is taking dance class with her friends there for years. Please don't sell it. The location is perfect.

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Posted by sell it to who?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I agree that selling it to condo developers would be a big mistake. However, the site was designed to be a public school and restoring it to that purpose makes a lot of sense. Schools bring great value to our community. A new high school or community college on that location should include auditorium and meeting room space that can be shared with the local community when not needed for school functions.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Not sure about its plans, but hope Foothill will share with private activity organizations.

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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Are the dance studios, etc. that are at Cubberley now paying market-rate rent, or are these dollar-a-year kinds of deals?

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Posted by Go, Foothill!
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Takes either a special sort of fool or someone in dire straits to sell an asset in desperate times. Which is Palo Alto?

With all the private real estate options available to them, Foothill must smell blood in the water and look at this as a screaming below-market deal.

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Posted by Lease ends
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2010 at 11:43 am

This is a very complex issue. The City is looking at Foothill as a future option for their 8 acre because they simply will not have the money to maintain the degrading buildings in the future.

Also, the City's lease with the PAUSD for the remaining buildings at Cubberley and the playing fields is up in 2014. As was pointed out at the meeting on Wednesday evening the City simply will not have the money to renew the lease.

The City is facing a $7.3 budget shortfall next year. By 2014 that budget shortfall will have increased considerably and it will be very difficult for the City to come up with the $6. Million annually to pay for Cubberley.

If the non-profits wish to continue renting space at Cubberley, they will have to come up with greatly increased rents to cover that $6. Million.

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Posted by home heart
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

With intelligent planning and creative thinking we can find a plan that keeps the current uses, upgrades the facility and keeps Foothill college in Palo Alto. We pride ourselves on being smart people here in Palo Alto. Let's look for creative solutions instead of fear mongering about change!

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Posted by clarity
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

This isn't a simplistic proposal to sell Cubberly.

Our school sites are owned by PAUSD which is an autonomous body from the City of PA. 25 acres of Cubberley are owned by PAUSD. 8 acres are owned by the City. The City approached PAUSD last year about selling that 8 acres to PAUSD, because the city has a fiscal crisis, and the buildings on those acres are in terrible need of repair. Plus PAUSD has a bond with which it could pay for those acres now, cheap, and growing enrollment for which it would be a benefit to have the entire Cubberley site at its disposal. PAUSD declined.

So what does the City do? PAUSD can't very well ask the City to hang onto those 8 acres in case the district feels at some point in the future that it might like to have them, especially with all the maintenance costs looming.

Foothill is willing to work on some kind of partnership with PAUSD -- it's a great opportunity for the city, the district, and Foothill. Wouldn't you rather have that portion of Cubberley sold to Foothill than to developers for condos? It would make the rest of the site far less useful for the schools.

Speaking of which, we have a serious enrollment crunch here. In an optimal world, three schools of optimal size would be far better for our students academically and socially than two mega-schools. When the schools needed to take the Terman site back, everyone complained about the loss of community space, but we all survived. Mitchell Park will soon have a new community center, and the JCC has a lot of great space and seems to be very community minded. It's hard to move, but we'll all be fine if Cubberley needs to be used again as a school. (It's not in the plans now, though.)

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