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Dublin Unified closer to acquisition of new high school site

Nov. 14 settlement conference could resolve price dispute between property owner and district

Plans for a new high school in the city of Dublin are falling into place but the site at the corner of Central Parkway and Chancery Lane where the future campus will sit remains out of reach for the Dublin Unified School District.

Superintendent Dave Marken recently announced that “the eminent domain process has been moving forward and should be resolved by the end of the year.” DUSD offered to buy the 25-acre property from the current owner last fall but neither side could agree on a price, prompting the district to file an eminent domain lawsuit in October 2018.

The district and owner have undergone one round of mediation so far; a settlement conference scheduled Nov. 14 could put the matter to rest soon. Otherwise, a trial would take place in early December, where a jury would decide the value of the property. “It has never been a question of ‘if’ we can acquire the land via eminent domain, rather ‘when’,” Marken said.

Multiple public meetings have been held over the past year concerning the new school, which is designed to house approximately 2,500 students and will be built in two stages. The first round of students would start attending the school in fall 2022.

About 1,308 students could be accommodated after completion of the first phase, which is projected to cost about $166.6 million. During that time an administration building, student union, library, kitchen, visual and performing arts classrooms, gymnasium and other athletic facilities would be built, as would approximately 500 parking spaces.

Measure H revenue will pay for $135 million of the project's first stage and the $31 million remainder will come from other sources like the state reimbursement for building Amador Elementary School, as well as developer fees if the AT Dublin project is approved.

The remaining 1,237 students would move in after completion of phase two, which is expected to cost around $102.2 million. The second half of construction could be paid for by a new bond measure in the future, Marken said. More classrooms, concessions, an aquatic complex, drama theater and maintenance building would be added at that point. Construction trucks have been spotted around the future school site but Marken said they’re not involved with the project.

A naming committee for the new school will be highlighted at an upcoming Oct. 22 DUSD Board of Trustees meeting. The school’s colors, logo, mascot and other branding items will be shaped by committee recommendations to the trustees, according to Marken.

The district is also welcoming public input for the environmental impact report portion of the project. Comments focusing on the potential environmental impacts of building the new school may be submitted to DUSD through Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.

Feedback may be sent by mail to:

Chris Stevens, Chief Facilities Operations Officer

Dublin Unified School District

7471 Larkdale Avenue, Dublin, CA 94568

By Email:

dusdceqa@dublinusd.org

Subject Line: "Future DUSD Comprehensive High School Project EIR"

A draft EIR for public review and comment will be released after the public comment period ends; residents will then have 45 days to comment on the report. A fly-through video and renderings of the project are available at www.dublinusd.org, then click on “Future High School Updates.”

Julia Baum is a staff writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. Reach her at jbaum@pleasantonweekly.com or 925-600-0840, ext. 111.

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