Special Reports

Alameda lost a high-profile grant that was supposed to help the Island bounce back from a disaster. E-mails obtained by The Alamedan offer new information detailing how it happened.

Should Alameda Unified renovate Historic Alameda High School, repurpose or rebuild it? It’s a question they’ve posed to the public – and one other Bay Area school districts have grappled with in different ways.

Cost estimates for repairing seismically unsafe portions of the 88-year-old campus – which housed an adult school and district offices until this past year, when they were moved due to seismic safety concerns – are being discussed at a community meeting scheduled for Thursday. The estimates hadn’t yet been released Monday night.

Alameda Police logged three dozen accidents at or near Alameda schools between 2010 to 2012. Source: Alameda Police Department.

Heather Little is a traveler who has walked on the edge of volcanoes with her two young children, where the drop is 350 feet down. But she never felt so close to losing her son, she said, as on the day a motorist nearly hit the then-kindergartner in the crosswalk he was riding his bicycle into on the way to school.

Video by Donna Eyestone.

Caroline Topeé faces light traffic on her walk to Haight Elementary School at 8:05 a.m Monday, which takes her, daughter Jovanna, 9, and a friend through a crosswalk that traverses Lincoln Avenue at Chestnut Street and into the school’s back gate.

“But you know what happens? Everybody drops their kids off at the last minute,” Topeé said as she headed out the door to school. “It’s chaos.”

Robby Lyng and his crew do their best to maintain the 88-year-old lockers at Historic Alameda High School.

“We repair them. But they’re so old, it’s hard to get replacement parts,” said Lyng, the Alameda Unified School District’s maintenance, operations and facilities chief, as he and another district official took a reporter on a tour of the school.

October 5, 2011 was to be a watershed moment in the city’s long struggle to revitalize the defunct Naval Air Station Alameda. That night city leaders signed a new deal with the Navy that would put most of the former base into the city’s hands by the end of 2012, free of the $108.5 million price tag the Navy had demanded in prior years.