By Tim Hunt
Dublin school trustees move ahead with new high school siteUploaded: Sep 27, 2018
Tuesday was a big night for key decisions on growth in Dublin.
The Dublin school board voted unanimously to purchase the 23.5-acre Promenade site in East Dublin for its third high school (In addition to the comprehensive Dublin High, it also has the continuation school, Valley High). The school district will negotiate with landowner Jim Tong to try and strike a purchase deal, but also approved using eminent domain should the negotiations fail.
The district identified the site formally earlier this year and has been doing the necessary due diligence that was necessary before the formal decision could be made.
Meanwhile, the Dublin Planning Commission denied the significantly revised plans for the IKEA and lifestyle retail center at I-580 and Hacienda Drive on a 3-1 vote. The commission recommended the City Council certify the supplemental environmental impact report and then deny the project. It’s tentatively scheduled to go to the City Council on Oct. 16. The denial was contrary to the staff’s recommendation to approve the project and move it forward to the council.
The school board’s decision moves the process forward on the eastside high school. The district already has issued a request-for-proposal for an architect. It also plans public hearings to gather input from parents and citizens about what to build in the school. The site, at 23.5 acres, is significantly smaller than Dublin High’s 40 acres so it will take creative architecture to fit the facilities in for a comprehensive high school.
What’s likely is three-story classroom buildings—once you buy elevators for the second floor, no reason not to add a third. The plan initially calls for a school of 1,000 students that will expand in phases to accommodate 2,500 students. A comprehensive high school will require a gym, but students probably can use nearby Fallon Sports Park for some fields and use the Dublin High stadium for football and soccer games. Fremont school district high schools have shared Tak Fudenna Stadium for decades.
There’s plenty of process, including plan approvals by the state architect’s office, before construction can start. The district is targeting the fall of 2022 to open, an ambitious timeline to be sure. The district has allocated $100 million for the school—the key question is what the land is worth. At $1 million per acre that’s one-quarter of the allocation. If it’s twice that, there goes half the money.
The school district and parents in east Dublin can thank members of the City Council who earlier denied a zoning change to increase residential densities on a project that was planned to be an urban downtown area for the high-density housing surrounding it.