Tim Talk: Dublin school trustees move ahead with new high school site


Dublin school trustees board voted unanimously Tuesday to purchase a site in east Dublin for a second comprehensive high school.

The 23.5-acre Promenade site in east Dublin is owned by Jim Tong. The district action authorizes its negotiators 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.

The school board's decision moves the process forward on the east side high school. The district already has issued a request for proposals 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. Having adequate sports fields may be a challenge, 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 lots of steps, 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. The district has allocated $100 million for the school. A key immediate question is what's the fair market value of the land.

The site was available to the district because the market has not been right for the planned urban-like downtown area serving the high-density condominiums and apartments around it. The City Council earlier denied a zoning change to allow a mixed-use development with residential and retail.

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