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School board considers Paly fields' makeover

Original post made on Dec 9, 2008

Lack of field space is just one issue the Palo Alto Unified School District board will consider before voting on a $3.5 million Paly fields' upgrade project. The board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 9:14 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Alice
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 9, 2008 at 6:32 pm

I think this is ridiculous. The fields look fine and are perfectly usable. You should have seen the field in my high school growing up in Hayward they were a mess and we still managed just great. $3.5 Million is OUTRAGEOUS! Use that money towards something more worthwhile like helping out your neighbors in East Palo Alto. Set up scholarship funds or tutoring programs or buy school supplies for the less fortunate.

Posted by Thoughts
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 9, 2008 at 7:05 pm


Why should our bond money in Palo Alto go to other cities? If you want to fund EPA, you can donate to one of the many charities that serves that particular city.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 9, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Whereas I agree that the pool at Gunn did need to be renovated since I had my kids there for swimming lessons when they were young and I was shocked at the condition of the pool and the locker rooms (or bathrooms which was all we could get into).

But, this Bond money which we all pay towards should not be put into such uses as anything to do with sports until such time as we have more useful things across the whole of the district campuses before we do anything to fields. My first priority would be to increase the number and style of bike racks at the schools. We are increasing our numbers of students at all schools, but the bike cages and racks remain well below the optimum number of adequate racks to support bikes with baskets and even training wheels without the domino affect.

We need more textbooks so that every student receives one (my son shares one which makes studying for tests difficult), we need to make language classes smaller (35 now seems to be the norm for Spanish) and the language classes have no modern educational aids as far as I can see.

Please get our priorities straight. Sports facilities are luxuries. Let's not forget that academic basics are more important.

Posted by John
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 9, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Where the money should be spent is a good subject for debate but the fields in question
at Paly are not fine. The field used by the lacrosse and soccer team next to El Camino is
in awful shape and has contributed to several linjuries. The last two years the teams paid
extra fees to play at Mayfield since the Paly field was at times unplayable.

Just because someone played on lousy fields when they were ia youth doesn't mean that
we shouldn't try to provide adequate facilities if possible now.

Posted by Really
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2008 at 9:09 pm

The amount of the bond measure was predetermined by project requested by every school. This includes Sports fields.

Posted by paly parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 9, 2008 at 9:26 pm

There are things bonds can and can not pay for. I am no expert, but I suspect staff (spanish teachers) and books can't be part of what a bond funds, while capital improvements (buildings, fields, pools) can.

The fields are actually used for PE also - not just sports. PE happens to be a class!

Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 9, 2008 at 9:29 pm

I agree that sports fields were included in the bond, I don't mind the money being spent on them, but they should not be the top priority. I was listening to some of the Board meeting tonight and it was mentioned that all the upgrades would happen, but not at the same time. In other words, some items would be done before others. This means that a list of priorities should be made, and I really do not think that sports fields should be top of the list. They can be deferred until later.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2008 at 8:46 am

No, actually if you watch the discussion from previous board meeting you'll hear the board discuss that the field improvements were unfunded or 'below the line' in the bond funding. Skelly argues the bond wording gives them complete flexibility to choose/change their list of priorities for use of bond funds, but Baten-Caswell pointed out that moving this to the front of the line, pushes something off the list (unfunded, or below the line). So what's being pushed off the list for these fields? They couldn't say.

They don't even have the master plan yet for Paly campus,let alone the rest of the district! Cart before horse - again. Will they have enough for Garland by the time that comes around? Not if they make decisions without proper planning. I just finished remodeling my home (last year). I can tell you, we didn't start by replacing the front lawn.

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