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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Letter To The School Board & Emeryville Community

The following letter has been mailed to all Emeryville households:

An Open Letter to the Emery Unified School District Board of Trustees and the Emeryville Community:

Since 1886, ten years before Emeryville incorporated as a city, there has been a school located on 41st Street at the current site of Anna Yates Elementary. This jewel of the Emery Unified School District has just been renovated at a cost of 8 million dollars and the Elementary students should remain in their present location and not be moved to the Secondary School site on San Pablo Avenue as part of the Emeryville Center of Community Life (“ECCL”). This would not only maintain an elementary school with a smaller scale more attractive to parents, it would also make available funds to properly complete the ECCL campus.

The ECCL campus, as presently proposed, is not financially feasible or sustainable. Having been able to issue only $48 million of $95 million in bonds, the School Board will build part of the school without adequate assurances that the additional funds will be available in a reasonable time frame. No detailed budget has ever been prepared and presented to the public for either the construction or the operation of the ECCL campus.

The fiscally responsible thing to do is build new only what we really need and can afford: a new high school, while utilizing as many of the existing facilities as possible. The people of Emeryville will spend decades repaying the $95 million in bonds and for the District to adopt a plan that spends all the money on just one of our three school sites is irresponsible. We deserve to know how all of these sites will be used, maintained, and operated over the long term. Such a comprehensive plan could still include the community- facing services envisioned, such as a public library, recreation facilities, and space for other community services, but the District's insistence on combining all the grades, K-12, on one site is a mistake.

We call on the Board of Trustees to adopt a new vision for our District that leaves the Elementary students in place and that clearly details both construction and operational budgets for all the school sites.

  • Richard Ambro Ph.D., Residents' United for a Livable          Emeryville (“RULE”) member 
  • April Atencio, RULE member 
  • Lei Bass, President, Anna Yates Parent Teacher Organization 
  • Steve Bass, PTO member
  • Brian W. Carver, Former Chair Measure J Citizens' Oversight Committee & parent 
  • Brian Donahue, parent of Anna Yates student, RULE member 
  • Scott Donahue, 35-year Emeryville resident 
  • Ronald Henry, parent of Anna Yates students, PTO member
  • Art Hoff, former President Emery Unified School District Board of Trustees 
  • Marcia Parham, Former President Anna Yates PTO 
  • Tracy Schroth, RULE member 
  • Joan Strasser Ph.D., RULE member

All affiliations are provided for identification purposes only and do not reflect the endorsement of any organization.

Please add your name to this letter by signing online at: 

or contact us via regular mail at: 
Save Anna Yates Elementary 
4333 Holden St. #51 Emeryville, CA 94608 
or at (510) 654-0166 or (510) 717-1281

We hope to present this letter at the District Board Meeting on June 11, 2012, 6:00 p.m. at the ESS Theater.

To receive more information and future updates via e-mail, please join our mailing list at:

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