ALAMEDA COUNTY (KRON) — The Dublin Unified School District is scheduled to decide if a new high school will be built near the Alameda County Jail.
It’s a proposal that has upset many parents who are worried about their children’s safety.
The Dublin Unified School District’s proposed plan to open a new high school near the Santa Rita Jail is certainly controversial in Dublin.
On Tuesday, hundreds of parents attended a district school board meeting where the issue will be decided once and for all.
The student population in Dublin has been growing steadily for years.
There’s no doubt that a new high school is badly needed.
The school district has been searching for a new site for years and they believe that a location near the intersection of Gleason Drive and Hacienda Drive is their best option.
“The idea is to gut that building and use the existing shell,” district spokeswoman Michelle McDonald said. “But the great thing about this and what makes it economical for us is that it has streets, it has parking lots. It has structures, so we can gut the structure, and we can create a high school within that structure. but it also has many of the things that we would need to create that would cost us money to do our selves.”
But this spot, which is currently being used as office space, sits about a half a mile from the Alameda County Jail.
That fact has alarmed a great many parents.
“I don’t think that the kids should be going to school next to people leaving the jail–coming and being released,” parent Kristy Lijesen said. “Even if it’s an overnight thing, they walk right down Arnold, which is right there on the corner, going to the BART station.”
Another parent, Jai Gill, says he agrees with Lijesen.
“I don’t believe that we should sacrifice kids safety over money,” Gill said. “That just non-negotiable in my opinion.”
The school district says they believe the site is safe.
“We have been in communication with Alameda County Sheriff,” McDonald said. “We’ve done research with crime statistics and data and found that it’s not a high crime area. In fact, it’s a relatively low crime area because of law enforcement presence in that area.”
Tuesday evening, the school board is scheduled to vote on the proposal following what will most likely be a lengthy public comment session.
If the school board approves the plan, students could begin attending classes at the new school by 2023.
If they turn down the plan, the district will have to go back to the drawing board and find another location.
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