School Board discusses thirteenth elementary school and new Gunn facilities

The Board of Education of the Palo Alto Unified School District met on March 11 to discuss the deferral of planning the thirteenth elementary school along with the approval of DLM architect’s conceptual design for the Central Building Project at Henry M. Gunn High School. They started in a closed session with just the board, then moved to an open session with the community.

In the closed session, the school board discussed various topics, including employee evaluation and appointment in accordance with government code, liability claims according to government code and real property negotiation. They also discussed student and employee discipline and employee dismissal and release.

Regarding the thirteenth elementary school, it was decided that the smaller cohorts will give time to the District to delay decisions regarding a thirteenth elementary site. A delay will also allow the new superintendent, who has not yet been selected, the chance to review the 2014-2015 enrollment data in order to make appropriate suggestions regarding the next steps. This will therefore postpone the work of the Elementary School Program Advisory Committee and allow for more time to consider extension of the leases that are held with Stratford School for Garland and Athena Academy for 525 San Antonio Road. The expiration date will be extended from June 30, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

A 14,000 square feet building will be attached to the Spangenberg Theatre located at Henry M. Gunn High School. The construction includes a possible two floor scheme. The alternate program for a two floor scheme of the add on to Spangenberg includes three new classrooms, a College and Career Center, a Wellness Center, a shared reception and lobby area, two shared conference spaces, and ten offices. The total area of the new construction will be approximately 19,250 in plans that were given to the School Board .