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MV council slated to discuss LASD partnership in school site buy

Mountain View City Councilmembers are scheduled to discuss a proposed partnership with the Los Altos School District at their Tuesday meeting that could lead to the purchase of a new school site in the city’s San Antonio Road area neighborhood.

The district board of trustees last month gave the go-ahead to a land acquisition deal, securing letters of intent from interested buyers of the district’s potential development rights and a memorandum of understanding from the city of Mountain View.

District officials said the agreements would generate “tens of millions of dollars” from the sale of the property’s development rights, freeing up funds from the $150 million Measure N bond to be spent on new school construction and upgrades at the district’s other campuses.

The district is targeting an 8.6-acre site – the Old Mill/Safeway property on San Antonio Road – 4 acres of which the city would use for parkland and open space in exchange for funds toward the acquisition. The owners of the property told district trustees last month that they don’t want to sell the land to the district.

In a press release issued last month, district officials said the site is “by far the best fit for a new school, and also would provide a much-needed community park in the fast-growing neighborhood.”

Although district officials have noted that most of the projected enrollment growth is coming from the San Antonio area, Superintendent Jeff Baier was noncommittal when asked if the new school would serve students in that neighborhood.

“The board has not made a determination,” he said last week. “Once we have ownership, then we can make a decision. We don’t even have a site yet. There’s a sequence to these decisions.”

Mountain View City Manager Dan Rich said the council discussed who would occupy the new school last October.

“Many indicated a preference for it to be a neighborhood school, but they did not formally state that was a requirement at the time,” he said. “That issue could be discussed on Jan. 16.”

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