Adult school, district office to move
Adult school, district office to move
Alameda’s Board of Education is set to discuss new locations for adult school classes and the district office since the facilities they’re in now aren’t earthquake safe. District officials are recommending that adult school classes be moved to the Woodstock Education Center, and that the district lease space for its headquarters in Marina Village.
The moves follow the February release of a structural engineer’s report showing that the portions of Historic Alameda High School that house the adult school and district offices aren’t seismically safe and could collapse in an earthquake. Portions of the school that house classrooms and Kofman Auditorium were retrofitted in 1998 with district bond money, but plans to retrofit the remaining portions of that building and the one housing the adult school next door were defunded, according to an earlier presentation to the school board.
Adult school night classes have been moved to Alameda High School for the remainder of this year, while day classes will remain at the adult school’s existing Central Avenue campus for the next 10 weeks, a presentation for the board’s Tuesday meeting shows. Administrators for the Bay Area School of Enterprise, which is located at Woodstock, have been informed that the district needs space there, the presentation shows.
District officials had considered moving the adult school to the old Island High School campus on Eagle Avenue, but they determined that replacing the portables now at the site – which the board will vote on getting rid of Tuesday night – would be too costly. Other district and non-district facilities, including the College of Alameda and St. Barnabas school, didn’t have enough space to accommodate the adult school, the report says.
District officials want to lease a building at 1115 Atlantic Avenue to house the district office. They’re suggesting a five-year lease for the Marina Village property, which a real estate site listed as having 21,372 square feet. The rent is $1.40 a square foot per month, which district officials said in their report was the lowest of the nine properties they looked at on Bay Farm Island and in Marina Village.
District officials also looked at properties on Alameda Point, but determined it would be too costly to prepare them for use. They have already begun planning the layout of the new office, the presentation said.
The district is also looking to do additional retrofitting to ensure students that remain at the school are safe in the event the non-retrofitted buildings collapse in an earthquake. At a meeting last week, school district leaders told city leaders that entrances and exits at the school may have to be “caged” in order to keep students safe in the event of a collapse, and the seismically suspect facilities may need to be fenced off.
In other school news, parents are preparing to protest the board’s March 13 approval of plans to lay off one of the district’s high school music teachers, a move they feel will jeopardize high school music programs. They’re planning to gather and voice their disapproval of the cut to the board on Tuesday.
On March 13, the board approved cutting the equivalent of 25.44 high school, middle school and occupational program teachers for a savings of $1.2 million, including a high school band/music teacher. The board typically okays such cuts midyear because they face a deadline for notifying district staff of any layoff, though teachers who have been pink-slipped over the past several years have typically kept their jobs.
“A reduction of (one) Music teacher at the high school level will decimate the music programs in both high schools,” Encinal High School Band Booster President Marie Long said in an e-mail to parents. “Both Alameda and Encinal High have award-winning bands, and produce lifelong musicians. This level of music program will not be sustainable by an itinerant teacher whose time is divided between two schools.”
Long said Alameda High’s music teacher received a pink slip and that if they’re laid off, a single teacher would cover music programs at Encinal and Alameda high schools.