Schools leaders seeking input on Historic Alameda High

Schools leaders seeking input on Historic Alameda High

Michele Ellson

Schools leaders want to know what you think needs to be done with Historic Alameda High School. So they’re hosting four meetings to share information and gather public input regarding the future of the school in April and May.

The meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11; 6 p.m. Monday, April 15; 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20; and 6 p.m. Thursday, May 9. All of the meetings will be held in the Alameda High School cafeteria, at the corner of Central Avenue and Walnut Street.

Jeff Cambra and former Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, both mediation specialists, will be leading the school district’s public engagement process and will provide a report to the Board of Education on May 28 listing the results of the meetings, including options for the future use of Historic Alameda High.

At the April 11 meeting, Cambra will explain the process of civil engagement and, with a panel of experts, offer a history of the school. Major stakeholders including school board and City Council members, preservationists and Alameda High School parents and staff will have an opportunity to present, and the public will also be able to weigh in.

At the April 15 and April 20 meetings, stakeholders and members of the public can offer their thoughts on what should be done with Historic Alameda High. Participants can discuss the feasibility of each option offered and also, what if any funding may be available.

At the final meeting, on May 9, the stakeholders will discuss their interests in the future of the high school and acknowledge those of other participating stakeholders, while working toward a shared solution on the school’s fate.

Meeting materials will be posted here.

The discussion about the fate of Historic Alameda High and the district office is the first phase in an effort by the school district to address its facilities needs. A facilities study completed in 2012 showed the district’s schools need fixes that would cost an estimated $92 million, including $20 million for the 88-year-old high school.

Most of the historic campus has been out of compliance with state seismic stability requirements for decades; only the Larry Patton Gym and the center portion of the campus, which houses Kofman Auditorium, are considered by the state to be safe for students to use.

District leaders whose offices had been on the campus sought out new headquarters after receiving a structural engineer’s report that questioned the campus’s ability to remain standing in a major earthquake, moving to new offices in January; they also fenced off portions of the campus. They’re hoping to get a decision from the school board in May about whether to purchase the building, at 2060 Challenger Drive.