Working Together to Shape Educational Opportunities In the Future Baylands Development

By: Jacque McLaughlin, Trustee Brisbane School Board,

What schools will be built in the Baylands and the access of future Brisbane Elementary School District (BESD) students to these schools is a salient issue to the citizens of Brisbane. While this area is within the city limits of Brisbane, the Baylands falls within the jurisdiction of the Bayshore School District (BSD) and the Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD). Students graduating from the BESD have the option to attend any of the high schools in the JUHSD. Our district children get their first choice at Terra Nova, Westmoor or Jefferson and at Oceana and Shasta they can apply by lottery. Today, BESD students make up about 2% of the total student population of the JUHSD. To represent the interests of present and future students from the BESD, the Brisbane School Board is represented on a 2x2x2 committee to discuss issues that impact all three districts, including the development of the Baylands.
The BESD, JUHSD, and BSD have met twice in the last two weeks to discuss the possible construction of a Grade 6-12 school in the Baylands. On October 5th, the 2x2x2 committee included Superintendent Ronan Collver, board trustees Jacque McLaughlin and Kima Hayuk from the BESD; (incoming) Superintendent Toni Presta, board trustees Kalimah Salahuddin, Andy Lie and Communications Director April Hawkins from the JUHSD; Superintendent Audra Pittman and board trustees Theresa Faapuaa, and David Rudolph from the BSD met. Then, on October 14th this 2x2x2 was expanded (2x2x2x2) to include Brisbane City employees and City Council representatives. In attendance were Clay Holstein, City Manager; Stuart Schillinger, Deputy City Manager; Madison Davis, Councilmember; and Cliff Lentz, Councilmember. This was a public meeting and a link to a recording of the meeting is available below.
Both meetings focused on JUHSD’s and BSD’s September 14th meeting with Greg Vilkin (CEO, United Paragon Group [UPC]) and Kevin Cullina (VP, Land Development of UPC) and the commitment to build a 6-12th grade school in the Baylands, with BSD managing the middle school and JUHSD managing the high school. While details are years away from being finalized, it was discussed that BESD students would have the option to attend both schools. Since BESD is part of JUHSD, BESD students could attend this new high school or any of the other schools previously mentioned in the JUHSD. In addition, we discussed the commitment to students in the BESD and BSD for priority attendance to the new high school. The facility would include an auditorium, ball fields, a library,
and a gym that would be open to the community of Brisbane during
non-school hours.
During the September 14th meeting, UPC proposed an 11-acre parcel, not far from the Brisbane firehouse for this new school. This option includes an estimated capital budget of ~ $35/$40 million dollars. This budget is comprised of developer fees ($19 million) and a developer contribution (which has yet to be determined). This current budget and land allocation would only accommodate a relatively small school, approximately 500 students (250 middle schoolers and 250 high schoolers). The school districts and city agreed that the location and parcel size proposed is not desirable. Adjustments to the developers originally proposed plan will require further negotiations. Ideally, the parcel would be large enough to permit a larger school and expansion should the districts grow requiring larger facilities in the future and the parcel would also be situated closer to planned residential development.
In addition to the Baylands, the Cow Palace and Midway Village sites may see residential housing development, underscoring the fact that many alternative scenarios must be considered.
With state funding for schools always in flux, JUHSD made it clear that they need to be prudent and develop this plan with revenue they know they will have. This project will take years to reach fruition, many details surrounding this new school such as capacity and educational program will be determined at a later time. Encouragingly, the commitment to build a 6-12 grade school in the Baylands is there, and additional educational options will be available to future BESD students.
For future planning to be beneficial for all our students and the City of Brisbane, conversations between the JUHSD, BESD, BSD, UPC and the City of Brisbane must be inclusive. All parties look forward to working on this.
Together, we can build options that will serve the greatest number of students and represent all three learning communities, allowing each district to retain their rightful independence.
You can access additional information regarding this topic and the October 14th 2x2x2x2 with the City of Brisbane here: