Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 20, 2014

Ties that bond

Filed under: Alameda, Development, School — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

I really want to get excited about the Facilities Master Plan and upcoming bond measure for Alameda schools.   I really do.

Somehow though I find myself in a bit of a rut when it comes to caring about the topic.   I mean, I do care about the state of the facilities in the school district.  I think the school district has recently done an amazing job of thinking outside of the box to accommodate two charter schools on one campus and negotiating a long term lease for those schools so that they can finally feel like there is some permanency to their accommodations and will be able to put in capital improvements without fear of having to leave those assets behind if they are asked to move to another location.

I guess what I’m having difficulty with is not so much the idea that we’ll be facing another sum of money to help finance a bond to fix up schools, that I can get behind, what I am having problems with is wrapping my head around the utility of fixing up the Historic Alameda High School to serve that purpose.   My biggest concern is that I don’t know if all of the options have been examined when it comes to grade make up and mix of offerings, particularly around the middle school level.   While completely anecdotal, it feels to me that when parents and students ponder the middle school offerings even with all the choices that currently exist, I think there is a sense that it comes up lacking.   Often I wonder if Alameda as a whole might be better off doing away with Middle Schools and either shuffling them to the high school level or down to elementary school.   Or split the difference and send 6th graders back to elementary school and 7th and 8th grade to high school.   Right now a few Alameda elementary schools are extending their offerings from K – 8th grade and I wonder if that’s a shift that more schools should really be considering.

The focus of the current Facilities Master Plan is to concentrate on the high schools and making the two high schools complete — some discussion about adding a true theater to Encinal — but I honestly don’t know if that is the right decision either.  For me, the idea of concentrating on the two high schools eliminate any discussion of whether or not it would be better to axe the two high school model in Alameda altogether and move toward one large centralized high school, brand spanking new and really meeting 21st century learning standards.    I just wonder if that would be a more cost effective plan as opposed to renovating a historic and costly site which would drain a huge chunk of the bond money for a smaller population of students.

I look at this slide and to me, I don’t know if it’s worth it to devote such a large amount of money into essentially two things (1) rehabilitating the Historic Alameda High School and (2) creating a theater at Encinal High School.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 2.33.53 PM


I realize that the consultants and all the people that will be working on passing this bond measure will be counting on the fact that the Preservationists in Alameda will support this in order to see the fences come down and HAHS be brought back to its former glory, but I think there are a lot of skeptical parents like me who typically pretty much always support any and all school related taxes that may not yet be convinced that this plan makes the most sense for the good of the district as a whole.   For me this just feels like a way to finance the rehabilitation of the HAHS which is something that I would have never supported on its own.  Packaging it up with school safety and technology is a way to soften the blow a bit and make it harder for me to out right dismiss it, but I guess I’ll continue to watch the school board meetings and try to figure out if I can reconcile it enough to vote for the bond measure in November.



  1. In their report the architects addressed the one high school idea suggested by participants prior to the drafting of the Facilities Master Plan. They estimated a new high school for 3000 students would cost $180 million. Land costs for 40 to 60 acres were not included and did not address where it could be located since the District does not have a piece of land that big.

    At tonight’s board workshop starting at 6pm at Alameda High School cafeteria we will getting an idea of what the monies will be used for in the high schools. For Alameda High School, the entire student body would be moved out of the current building and would use the building on Central. For Encinal, the primarily focus will be replacing undersized classrooms with 21st century classrooms similar to the ones that will be placed in the Historic High School. In addition, new 21st century classrooms will allow growth of the Junior Jet program.

    With the movement of Alameda students out of the current building, District administration would be relocated to that building on Encinal and Walnut. The fence surrounding the HAHS would be removed. If Alameda High community wanted to expand the grade offerings to include grades 6-8, it could be accommodated.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 20, 2014 @ 7:47 am

  2. Out of curiosity, what is the acreage of the current AHS site, and does the 40-60 acre estimate for a new facility include sports fields, and if so, how much of that 40-60?

    Comment by dave — May 20, 2014 @ 7:50 am

  3. It seems like we’re not tackling enough of the problem with just focusing on the two high schools. And I’m not sure why we why we need 40 to 60 acres for 3000 students. Why not use the 20 acres at Alameda Point to build one high school (with all the bells and whistles); sell the Alameda Historic High School and the Bachelor’s Quarters to developers to help pay the $180M cost for the new high school, and use the bonds to pay for some of the remaining school facility costs.

    Maybe we can make it a requirement that the developers would have to fix the Alameda High pools and restore the Kaufman Theater as part of a “community benefit”.

    We would get almost everything we want—but more important we would get more of what we need.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 20, 2014 @ 8:17 am

  4. The current site at Encinal and Walnut is 12.9 acres. You are correct a new facility would include sports fields. I do not have any estimate on sports field size but I would estimate the high end to be 20 acres for separate spaces for baseball, football and swimming pools.

    These land estimate are based on California Department of Education guidelines. Urban districts that do not have space typically end up having buildings that go up, some as high as five or six stories.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 20, 2014 @ 8:17 am

  5. Another advantagae of building the new high school at Alameda Point — is that it will be close to the sports complex that is contemplated at Alameda Point.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 20, 2014 @ 8:21 am

  6. Of the 20 acres on Alameda Point that Alameda Unified will be receiving the Bachelor’s Quarters occupies 10 acres. So placing a high school would be impractical.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 20, 2014 @ 8:23 am

  7. I think Karen is on to something, if there is a single high school built at Alameda Point there could be a “sharing” of the Sports Complex between the City and the School District. The School District could use it during the school day and after school for activities because the community use would probably be the greatest on the weekends.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 20, 2014 @ 8:52 am

  8. 2, 3-6: One of the long-time issues around Encinal HS is its relative isolation “out on the west end,” far from the geographic center of Alameda. The geographic and residential centers of Alameda–especially when including Bay Farm Island–are much closer to the historic AHS site than to Encinal HS when considering our city’s current demographic distribution.

    Any new high school at AP–no matter how new and full of “bells and whistles”–will always be far from Alameda’s geographic center and even farther west than Encinal HS. This geographic (and social) isolation is a bad idea.

    Locating a new HS at AP will raise transportation costs by increasing driving, fuel costs, and carbon emissions while creating greater barriers and disincentives for students to travel to school via transit, bicycling, or walking from most of Alameda’s established residential neighborhoods. (Encinal’s current location is somewhat less of a disincentive to reach school via transit, walking and bicycling, with the historic AHS site offering the most “central”–and overall best–location for “alternative” student, teacher, and parent transportation.)

    A modernized and upgraded facility on the current AHS site will also offer an ideal community center for all of Alameda, being located close to Park Street, City Hall, the main branch of the Alameda Free Library, and many other resources that are similarly reachable by non-automotive means (transit, bicycling, walking) from most of Alameda–including Alameda Point’s future residential neighborhoods. Park Street businesses currently offer many more resources to students and teachers for food and shopping than would be available
    out at the more remote–and still relatively undeveloped–Alameda Point.

    Renovating and reusing the current high schools will help maintain our community’s strong sense of history and rootedness: both factors help reduce the isolation of individuals and families from each other. In an increasingly fragmented and isolated world, maintaining centrally-located community resources like the historic Alameda High School is essential. Reusing the historic AHS site will also promote fewer greenhouse gases than a new “on the geographical fringe” high school at Alameda Point.

    Reuse the existing historic AHS and Encinal sites, don’t add a remote, isolated, and expensive new HS campus at AP.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 20, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  9. from 8. “Any new high school at AP–no matter how new and full of “bells and whistles”–will always be far from Alameda’s geographic center and even farther west than Encinal HS. This geographic (and social) isolation is a bad idea.” agree. The entire subject of upgrades is a conundrum, biggest being whether/how to renovate historic building. Integrating public opinion to final decisions is nearly insurmountable. K-8 and 9-12 seems much better than 7th graders with 12Th graders. But can current campuses accommodate that configuration? seems like long term plan of musical chairs to work through district wide improvements, but if bond fails is it all moot?

    BTW- it’s bad enough that Encinal drama has to perform in their gym, but the inequity appears to extend to the equipment. During Hair Spray the microphones kept cutting out, particularly ruining solos. Kids powered through and seemed to have a great time, but it was vexing.

    Comment by MI — May 20, 2014 @ 9:14 am

  10. Have they considered selling Alameda HS? prime retail location

    Comment by Alamedadakine — May 20, 2014 @ 9:43 am

  11. So if Encinal High is so isolated, why are we spending millions of dollars to renovate it? Jon, you make a strong case for restoring AHS — but I’m not sure the voters will approve such an expensive bond measure that focuses mainly on two school campuses, and doesn’t address the other facilities.

    My main point is that we’re not tackling enough of the problem. There is almost $600M in necessary facility improvements — we’re only tackling $200M of the costs and of the $200M we’re mainly focusing on two campuses.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 20, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  12. To me it still feels like all the money thrown at a historic crappy building that can not handle present and future educational needs and services will end up getting us a rehabbed but still historic crappy building that can not handle present and future educational needs, but at least the fence will be gone, woohoo!!!

    Comment by notadave — May 20, 2014 @ 9:48 am

  13. #11 — Hi Karen,

    The prioritization plan that will be discussed tonight also includes technology, safety, and security upgrades at all the campuses.

    You can see the architects’ presentation here: (Slides are attached at bottom.)

    The Board of Education also heard a presentation last week about different strategies to take with an implementation plan — i.e., should the district give “something to everyone” or focus on a grade level (e.g., high school) or perhaps a theme (e.g., technology)? Each has its advantages and disadvantages; the proposed plan is a hybrid approach.

    You can see the presentation on the strategy options here: (PowerPoint slides are again attached at the bottom.)

    The entire Facilities Master Plan is a 10- to 15-year project. At tonight’s meeting (as a follow-up to last week’s meeting) board members will again be focusing on what should be repaired/renovated first.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

    Comment by Susan Davis (sr manager, community affairs, AUSD) — May 20, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  14. The main current uses on the AHS campus are the pools and the Kaufman Theater. If we require a developer to restore both of them (the pools and the theater) the restoration of the Historical Alameda High School, the Kaufman Theater and the pools, will allow us to enjoy and “maintain our community’s strong sense of history and rootedness’ which I agree is very important.

    And the proceeds from the sale of AHS can go towards a new high school campus that meets all of our present and future educational needs.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 20, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  15. Thanks Susan!

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 20, 2014 @ 10:16 am

  16. What is the total acreage of Wood, Lum, and Rittler field combined? If the idea is to have one central high school, that would be an ideal location. Plus, students from both east and west could use the future bike paths planned for Shoreline to get to school, and Grand has a nice wide bike path too. Converting some of the island’s elementary schools to K-8 makes sense too. They’ve already done that at Bay Farm. (As a side note, I wonder if the new middle school @ Bay Farm has eased crowding at Lincoln? Does anyone know?)

    Comment by Kristen — May 20, 2014 @ 10:29 am

  17. What an hilarious discussion. When I went to Grammar School/High School [everyone over age 50?], there were few if any middle schools around here. Grammar/Elementary School= grades 1-8. High school=9-12. Junior high was the “new idea”. So middle schools aren’t working, eh?

    I am overjoyed to find that my parcel tax dollars are working overtime, reinventing the wheel.

    And it is always reassuring to hear that the primary purpose of public education is “access to a sports complex”. Stop calling AUSD meetings, Board of Education meetings. Its the Board of Jocks.

    Comment by vigi — May 20, 2014 @ 10:53 am

  18. I, too have wondered about combining the Wood School and Rittler Park properties and building a high school there, which could meet the State standards for school site size, have enough space for a full campus with sufficient open space, etc. It would involve taking out everything that is now on the combined sites and using the very large site as a blank canvas to design a new high school. Last time a single campus was proposed people got up before the school board and said “It cannot be done because that would mean we would have only one quarterback.” Very little about the advantages of more curriculum offerings, better labs and media technology, etc. But lots about sports. So I think we should direct our main focus to the education of the children, which of course includes sports and physical fitness but those are not the prime consideration. As to grade configuration, it may need to be different for different areas of town depending on the needs of the children in each area. There is, I think, no “one size fits all” in education.

    Comment by Kate Quick — May 20, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  19. #16 — It looks like the Wood, Lum, and Rittler combination is about 18.5 acres.

    Comment by Susan Davis (sr manager, community affairs, AUSD) — May 20, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

  20. Is it true that any/all money raised by the proposed bond on the Nov. 2014 ballot–must be spent within three years???
    If so, what good does this money do if the work is going to be spread out over “10–15 years”

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 20, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

  21. I think the State size standard for high schools is 20 acres, but 18.5 is pretty darned close. If the site were carefully laid out, it might be possible. Such an arrangement would involve school district/city cooperation, as well as community commitment and re-thinking a lot of stuff. It is more centrally located and does lend itself to some traffic mitigation with the shore line improvements for walking and bikes and bus routing. I have seen schools with two story parking garages with tennis courts and/or lap tracks on the top floor (fenced of course so the dears do not fall off.)

    Comment by Kate Quick — May 20, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

  22. To answer Karen’s to Jon about Encinal isolation in 11, my thoughts are that with two high schools, it is not that isolated, but having one high school at the Point would move it significantly further PLUS the final single location would make commute for East End and Bay Farm the most extreme distance possible and the longest distance for everybody no matter where you live. Basically, nobody could walk to school other than people at the Point.

    It requires a great deal of study and scrutiny to get up to speed to the point one could offer an informed opinion. Without having done that, the Wood solution seems ( in the gut) to make a little more sense. The Park Street study involved meetings with large maps of the shopping district. It occurs to me that having a large paper map of the island, or a projected electronic map which could be manipulated in real time, would allow large-ish numbers of people to simultaneously discuss various scenarios with shuffling and swaps in a way that would allow visualizing the entire district at once much easier. If Rittler is Park and Rec, the district would have to accommodate Alameda Little League, etc. Seeing the sizes of the various campuses all at once makes it easier for me to wrap my brain around the subject at hand.

    *** I haven’t had time to go to architects presentation to see what visuals there may be.

    Comment by MI — May 20, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

  23. Here is a link the State website for guidelines for school site sizes.

    By the way, I should clarify my statement about moving students from the current Alameda High School. There will be a portion of the existing high school that students would still use. The media center and some classrooms would be used and be separated from any uses of the remainder of the building.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 20, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

  24. Mike…….Didn’t we just refinance 49 Million from School Bonds and Where is that money going ?

    We have Spent 750 Million + last 10 years and Students still don’t have Computers in all the Classrooms and Internet access.

    Comment by Didn't we just refinance 49 Million from School Bonds and Where is that money going — May 20, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

  25. 24. whether there is a bond campaign or not, these facilities issues have to be wrangled with anyway. It’s true that the choices or options we can propose, or the wish list we construct has to be defined based on available money, i.e., whether we pass a bond. But conversely, how do you ask people to vote on a bond without a thorough and comprehensive plan for the money, including decision about the historic high school building? That debate has a life of it’s own apart from over all facilities master plan. To me the bond is academic at this point and so maybe is this whole discussion. Anyway, I get your point about where did all the money go? but for now the discussion is NOT about whether to have a bond campaign, though obviously that is coming. There is plenty of time for the hysterical objections to giving the district more money which they will irresponsibly piss away. Not my sentiments, just paraphrasing the inevitable opposition.

    This is a tangent, but Mark Zuckerberg gave millions to Newark NJ schools and they didn’t get computers either. Imagine that. Read the New Yorker article linked in this Salon article:

    Comment by MI — May 20, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

  26. The refinancing of school bonds did not generate new monies but rather lowers the cost of interest being paid by taxpayers. The cost to taxpayers dropped about 10% per year for repayment of the current bonds.

    There are currently over 3000 computers in AUSD schools.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 21, 2014 @ 4:07 am

  27. We give the “out with the old, in with the new” folks nearly all of Alameda Point to play with and they still have to hit on our historic landmarks. If you don’t appreciate the role of history in our lives, you’re living in the wrong town. Lots of other options for you. Las Vegas, for instance, is practically addicted to tearing things down and funding the schools is not a problem. I understand the housing is cheaper, too. Just a thought!

    The community has spoken time and again about the historic high school building. The majority (of those who care enough to speak out) want it preserved. I applaud AUSD for taking our input seriously and attempting to craft a workable plan that does not destroy what Alamedans have worked so hard to preserve.

    The grassroots initiative to save and upgrade Kofman Auditorium–note correct spelling–took over 20 years of effort on the part of citizens. It is as much a point of pride for the community as is the Alameda Theatre. Many of the materials used in its construction, if even available today, would be astronomically expensive to install. It was built to last and it has. There is nothing crappy about it. Let’s see what the Ruby Bridges building looks like in 80 years.

    For insight about how Alamedans feel about their historic places, check out the comments on the online petition to save the Jackson Park bench ( Along with the hard copy signatures, we already have nearly 1,000 signatures and that’s with less than 10 volunteers and no print advertising.

    I don’t believe just because something is old it has value, but the jury is in on this issue and has been a long time.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — May 21, 2014 @ 8:24 am

  28. Denise, for me the issues of retaining the historic building and floating a new bond are so deep that I’m officially neutral, in that I can’t argue vehemently for any position, though I share the appreciation of history and things historic. I’m saying that as preface to response to the following from 27: “The majority (of those who care enough to speak out) want it preserved.” That is not insignificant and everybody knows about the depth of preservation movement in Alameda, but if we took a vote of everybody in Alameda today I think it would be anybody’s guess whether a majority would favor keeping the HAHS buildings. Many would vote in ignorance of any historic sensibility or comprehensive knowledge of the economics, but those are not qualifications for having an opinion.

    Comment by MI — May 21, 2014 @ 9:24 am

  29. Would it be fair to say that the community is strongly in favor of preserving Kofman but much less so, perhaps ambivalent, about the rest of the complex?

    Comment by dave — May 21, 2014 @ 9:33 am

  30. probably Dave. The interior of Kofman is impressive and frankly, the interior of the rest is not so much, it’s mostly the facade. It’s still a staggering prospect to sort out not just end use, but how to get there, i.e. where to house students during reconstruction etc..

    Comment by MI — May 21, 2014 @ 9:42 am

  31. So reading the tweets from last night’s meeting it appears that the theatre for Encinal is not part of the $160-170 million quoted in the slide above, so it’s looking more and more like the bulk of the money from this first bond will go strictly to rehabilitate HAHS, which I don’t know if I can get behind. I’d like to know the break down of money that is going to Encinal as opposed to Alameda High since they are lumped together it’s hard to tell how much is going to classroom modernization and how much is going to the historic rehabilitation.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 21, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  32. Denise, historic buildings can and should be considered separately from their historic uses. I think HAHS would make a wonderful (and economically valuable) conversion to a multi use building, or a work live space. In the much lauded community facilitation process that was undertaken, that discussion wasn’t even allowed to happen, thus for folks like me that wanted to look at preserving that space through a non school use, there was no reason to attend and speak out.

    Comment by notadave — May 21, 2014 @ 10:42 am

  33. 32. the musical chairs put in motion by rehabbing a building for non-school use makes everything more complicated. Live-work use would put AUSD and board in real estate business and there is already all this howling over moving offices and option to buy, etc. I watched first facilities meeting on tape and I don’t think at that time there was an interactive power point with a map of the island AUSD facilities. It may seem like a gimmick which would require and expensive contract with a consultant, but having all the sq footage of buildings and sites, current uses, numbers of students, maybe also costs of various improvements all loaded in to one program where they could be manipulated in real time in front of an audience seems like it would help consensus. If you remove HAHS from the mix you need to know the capacity lost, etc. , etc.. The district has this information, but the mixing and matching of these various scenarios like taking Wood site for central high school remain vague and difficult to discuss seriously, which is perhaps one reason creative reuse of HAHS for non ed uses is simply avoided. As a general principle, it would seem best to consolidate AUSD properties as much as possible and not fragment them. Of course with bond issue looming this power point concept is just pie in the sky.

    31. no theater for Encinal, fine. But buy them a new sound system already.

    Comment by MI — May 21, 2014 @ 11:32 am

  34. The slides from Tuesday’s night presentation do not show the dollar breakdown for each high school. From the FMP, the total projected renovation costs for Alameda is $112 million and Encinal High School is $128 million. So it is likely that the $160-170 million is closer to 50/50 between the two schools. We have the detail for the Tuesday BOE meeting on May 27th.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 21, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

  35. My concern is chiefly about Kofman and that whatever plan is crafted, it can remain a theater and be used as one. This would require parking if the theater is to support itself. There is no point in keeping it as an empty shrine. What incentive would a developer have to maintain it? Without being used, it would be a total cash suck. The current arrangement is not great, but at least the people have a say. In the hands of a private developer, anything can happen. Big money does as it likes.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — May 22, 2014 @ 10:00 am

  36. My main concern is the Kaufman as well. I would love to see the Kaufman Theater restored. It would be nice if we can attract more opera, piano and jazz artists to Alameda.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 22, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  37. I found it kind of strange that the last Opera in Alameda was held at the Elk’s Club.

    Comment by frank M — May 22, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  38. The breakdown of the Tuesday board workshop is in the May 27 board packet.

    Renovating the Alameda High site is in the $90 million range and Encinal High site is in the $70 million range.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 22, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

  39. Kofman, Karen. K-O-F-M-A-N. The family is still arouhd. I’m sure they would appreciate the effort to spell the name correctly.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — May 23, 2014 @ 7:19 am

  40. My apologies to the Kofman family. Denise, thanks for the correction.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 23, 2014 @ 7:38 am

  41. 11: Karen, the AUSD’s binding authority will be maxed out at around $180 million, so we cannot deal with the remainder of the $600 million in unmet needs through a bond issue. If AUSD were not on the end of such a very short financial reimbursement stick as far as state schools funding is concerned, we might have been able to afford handling more of the renovations and upgrades in the proposed bond issue out of the current annual capital and operating budgets. You do what you can with the funds you have available..

    11, 22: Encinal HS is more isolated psychologically than physically from central and east-end Alameda, but it is close to Webster Street and not *that* far from AHS or Park Street. Relocating a new HS campus to AP would be far worse because the transit, bicycling, and walking infrastructures are not in place at AP and the actual distances would serve to isolate the campus from any of the island’s historic business centers,which we are spending a lot of $$$ to sustain and enhance already. And walking or bicycling from anywhere on the main island to Encinal or AHS is not as difficult as riding or walking to a new AP campus would be. “Location, location, location.”

    29: No. There is significant value in restoring the rest of the historic buildings and reusing them as a school. I would argue that having a centrally-located high school is the “highest and best use” for the current AHS campus. And upgrading Encinal so it is on a par with AHS is crucial.

    32: I would argue that the cumulative value to the community of a restored historic AHS campus is far higher than the market value of the campus if one includes the social benefits as well as the private costs (market value) of the campus and buildings. Considering only the market value of the AHS scamps–regardless of its shortcomings in footprint–does not fairly consider the campus’ value as a center of our community.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 23, 2014 @ 8:13 am

  42. What I don’t understand is they closed Woodstock and Longfellow when they opened Ruby Bridges but now they are all reopening? I think on my block there are 5 kids and 3 of them go to Saint Josephs. Maybe buy the old Del Monte building and put some classrooms in there…they have the park across the street. Or after Safeway builds their new building buy the Marina Village shopping center…although they just sold it. I predict Lucky’s will go out of business. Chase is building a new bank at Alameda Landing. Bank of America closed its branch a couple of years ago and half the storefronts are empty. Since they just sold the shopping center who knows maybe it will come back. I don’t think we are getting more kids but we are getting more schools. They actually should have kept the old Island High school site and bought a couple of the warehouses around it and built a new school ..but they didn’t do that so rebuild the old High School…which is centrally located. I mean who lives on Bay Farm wants to drive their kids to AP…and those who live here in West Alameda who wants the traffic.

    Comment by Joseph — May 25, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

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