Parents Fight Plans To Build A New High School Near Santa Rita Jail

DUBLIN (KPIX 5) — Parents are fighting back against plans to build a new high school in Dublin, just blocks away from the Santa Rita Jail.

Dublin could make a decision Tuesday night on plans for a much-needed second high school.

The proposed location is at Hacienda and Gleason drives, just two blocks away from the Santa Rita Jail and next to the Alameda courthouse.

There is already an elementary school nearby, but Maya Burrows is one of the parents who isn’t a fan of the proposed location.

Burrows’ three children might go to the new high school.

Burrows said, “This building is visible right on the path from the jail, so it’s more accessible plus high school students spend more time after hours, they walk by themselves and that’s a dangerous situation for them.”

The Dublin Unified School District trustees will vote Tuesday night on whether to purchase a building at Hacienda and Gleason drives for use as a high school.

The Alameda Sheriff’s Department has no position on the school debate, but Sgt. Ray Kelly says the jail hasn’t caused crime in the city.

Kelly said, “The community is on all sides of us, so people who live here know that there is a jail facility here.”

And while the jail can’t keep tabs on people once they’re legally free, Kelly says most people are picked up by friends and family members and leave town.

“We’ve run the data for the last five years and we can’t correlate any crime that connects to prisoner releases from our jail to them walking out into the community,” Kelly said.

School District Spokeswoman Michelle McDonald says Dublin Unified is doing its best but they have huge needs beyond just this high school, like preparing for 4,000 new elementary school students.

McDonald said, “We believe it’s a safe neighborhood. We don’t have any statistics or any data that tells us anything different than that.”

McDonald says, “Hindsight is 20/20. If we could’ve gone back 20 years ago and anticipated the sort of booming growth and development we had in our community — there were previous boards that made decisions about what land use and things like that — we can’t go back now. Here we are and we’re trying to address needs.”

But Burrows said, “I love Dublin, I would love to stay here. But if this is the school that’s been chosen, we’ll see, I haven’t really thought that far yet.”

In June 2016, voters in Dublin elected to give over about $283 million in bonds for schools and so, a number of people say they wish the district would spend more of that money on this high school proposal.

After public comment Tuesday night, the board is expected to vote.

If the board votes to purchase the property, there will be a 120-day period before that agreement is final.

More from Melissa Caen
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