Almanac

Schools - November 9, 2011

School board to meet on Ladera School site

by Barbara Wood

The governing board of the Las Lomitas Elementary School District is scheduled to make a decision Wednesday, Nov. 9, on the process for leasing the Ladera School site that has been home to the private Woodland School for the last 30 years.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the La Entrada School Multi-Use Room, 2200 Sharon Road in Menlo Park.

The district has said it will use an open bidding process rather than a request for proposals (RFP), which might have given it more flexibility in choosing a tenant for the school site. The open-bid process requires, with few exceptions, that the highest bid be accepted.

The district proposes to put into the bidding prospectus certain restrictions on the school site that have been requested by its Ladera neighbors. The prospectus would be sent to all interested bidders.

A proposed timetable would have the district signing a lease with a tenant by July 2012.

The school site was purchased by the district in 1952 but has not been used as a district school since Ladera School closed in 1979.

Woodland, which now has 275 students, currently pays $650,000 a year for the site. The Woodland lease originally expired in July, but the district has extended it twice, through July 2013.

The school operates under a conditional use permit from San Mateo County because Ladera is an unincorporated neighborhood and the site is zoned for residential use.

Among the leasing conditions requested by Ladera residents are that the school site be used only by a pre-school to eighth-grade school, not by a high school or for other non-school use; that the number of students allowed be capped by the district; and that the campus remain open for neighbors' use during non-school hours.

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