Supe's Update on AUSD Facilities

This summer our outstanding staff has worked hard on many facilities improvements at sites all across Alameda Unifi ed School District (AUSD). We hope this facilities work at schools helps teachers, staff and students start out the new year on a positive note.

As you may know, due to the dangerous condition of the un-retrofi tted buildings at Historic Alameda High School (HAHS), this summer Alameda Adult School has moved from the HAHS building and become part of the new AUSD Educational Options Center at Woodstock School, 1900 Third St.

Our very highest priority has been and must always be the protection of human life and safety. Due to the risk the un-retrofi tted buildings at HAHS present to human safety, later this fall we will also be moving the District Offi ce to a building we will be leasing with an option to purchase.

The middle section of HAHS — with Kofman Auditorium and Alameda High School classrooms — has been seismically retrofi tted and is safe.

Accordingly, the activities and classes in those rooms in the middle of HAHS will continue, although we are taking additional steps in coming weeks to improve the safety of the building by shoring up entrances and exits students routinely use and fencing off dangerous areas.

In the long run, leasing a building with an option to buy for the district offi ce is likely to be fi scally neutral.

For now, it is important for all to know that the funds to be spent on the lease or purchase are restricted facilities funds that, in contrast to unrestricted dollars from our general fund, cannot be spent on employee compensation or on programs for students. In addition, even with this lease, the vast majority of our facilities funds will continue to be spent on school sites.

Staff has considered many possible alternative sites for the district offi ces. The unfortunate reality is that we simply do not have room to relocate the offi ces into existing district facilities.

Trying to split up parts of the offi ces into the few open classrooms spread across the district would be highly disruptive to school sites, ineffi cient and inconvenient for families and the public. In addition, because our schools do not have a high number of vacant classrooms, we would be forced to lease some additional space even if we split up the district offi ces.

Kirsten Vital is the Alameda Unifi ed School District superintendent.

 

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