On Thursday, March 14, a joint meeting of the full Palo Alto Unified School District board and City Council was held at the Cubberley Community Theater at 7 PM to discuss the future of Cubberley.
This 35-acre site is the last major plot of publicly-owned land in the City proper, and its long term future use is critical to both community services and education. The public was encouraged to attend this meeting and be a part of this important discussion.
Since June 2012, a group of citizen volunteers, the Cubberley Community Advisory Committee (CCAC), has been meeting with staff from the City and the School District to prepare a report outlining their recommendations for the future of Cubberley. The CCAC presented its findings in the public study session. The joint study session provides the School Board and City Council an opportunity to discuss the report with the community.
According to the CCAC report, "Cubberley is again at a critical crossroads." The School District may need land at Cubberley again for a high school if student enrollment numbers rise. At the same time, Palo Alto's changing population values the essential community center services that have evolved at the center over the last few decades.
In 1979, Cubberley was closed due to decreasing enrollment. The City replaced the vacant high school with a thriving community center that has grown in use and importance over the years.
The City currently manages and maintains the entire 35-acre site, of which it owns 8 acres. The remaining 27 acres is owned by the School District and leased to the City. The current lease has two 5-year options for continuation beginning in 2014 that must be jointly agreed upon by the City and School District by the end of 2013.