Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 23, 2013

But it won’t do that

Filed under: Alameda, Election, School — Tags: , , , , — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

If you all missed JKW’s comments yesterday about AUSD’s Measure C and what the sort of main talking points were, you can revisit them here.  So given that he shared a copy of those campaign materials with me, the first thing I did was drop all the text into a word cloud generator to pick out the top 50 words that cropped up in relation to the campaign:


Notice, not one of the top 50 words included “Historic” anywhere.

Most of the words refer to basic things like “plumbing”, “electrical”, “air conditioning”, “heating.”


May 21, 2013

Brick by brick

Tonight the School Board will meet to talk about, what else, the Historic Alameda High School under the “Shared Interests/Principles Meeting” headline.   Whatever that’s supposed to mean, I imagine that people will say the same thing that they’ve said at all the other meetings.

But I’m going to draw your attention across the Bay to San Mateo County where the passage of a two huge school construction bonds have amassed a staggering amount of money to renovate and modernize a ton of schools in that area.  From the San Mateo County Times:

The San Mateo Union High School District and San Mateo-Foster City elementary district are engaged in a building and renovation frenzy fueled by voter-approved bonds.

The money is coming from Measure M, a $298 million bond measure passed by voters in 2006.


May 15, 2013

There’s too much confusion

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

While researching costs for school construction projects I came across information about a huge bond floated in Portland to modernize and renovate their schools.      Portland residents agreed to fund a $528 million bond to renovate six schools.   Got that?  Six.   So for people thinking that Alameda’s Measure C $63 million would have been enough to completely renovate the Historic Alameda High School, get real.  Based on the rates to seismically upgrade the HAHS just that alone would have eaten up half of the bond money and that didn’t even include modernization of the building.   So for those out there that want to talk about money being diverted away from students, what would have been a bigger example than seismically upgrading the HAHS and it not being modernized for student usage.

Add in the potential modernization cost and it would have eaten up the bulk of the funds for only one school.  Where’s the equity in that?

But I digress.   Anyway, I thought I would feature this project also in the Pacific Northwest, but in Seattle.  Garfield High was built in 1923 with an addition in 1929.  The initial cost to renovate and rehabilitate AND build a new performing arts center.   And Garfield High has some pretty famous alumni like Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix.


April 17, 2013

Price of love

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Big news that I’ll write about in detail tomorrow, but last night at the City Council meeting Harbor Bay Isle Associates aka Ron Cowan announced that they are planning on moving the Harbor Bay Club to the North Loop parcel that they were trying to swap for the Mif and on the current Harbor Bay Club parcel they will build 80 more houses.

Apparently they HBIA managed to get former City Councilperson Doug deHaan to support the proposal. It really is interesting what happens to former City Council people… Anyway, more tomorrow.

Right now there is an estimate that all the facilities needs of the School District will cost around $92 million. Money that the School District does not have and I don’t believe any of that includes substantial work on the Historic Alameda High School. At least not enough work to make it legal for either District Staff but especially not students to occupy.

I think this is the inherent problem of how AUSD eventually chose to hold meetings around the Historic Alameda High School. As I mentioned earlier all of the suggestions being made are not limited by the one major limiting factor: cost.


April 15, 2013

Go back to High School

Filed under: Alameda, Development, School — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Last week there was the first of many meeting about the Historic Alameda High School and, wouldn’t you know it, most folks wanted to “save” the HAHS for student use even though no one has any idea of what that will actually cost the School District.

I just wanted to point to a possibility for another use for the School District that wouldn’t necessarily require taking out a huge bond — and going to the taxpayers to pay for it — that someone had brought to my attention, and it’s a really good idea.   Because, let’s face it, the dollar amount is, conservatively,  going to be upwards of $15 million to rehabilitate to Field Act seismic standards.   Even if the building is occupied by District Staff the level of seismic safety standards will need to be the same.

Anyway, this rehabilitation in Seattle piqued my interest after someone pointed it out to me.   In Seattle the Queen Anne High School was converted first into apartment buildings and then into condos.


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