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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Center of 'Community' Life Press Release Featured in Oakland Tribune

An Emery School District press release posted in today's Oakland Tribune:

Emeryville: $90 million project combines schools, city services
By Doug Oakley

EMERYVILLE -- This little city wedged between Oakland and Berkeley is combining its school system with city services in a $90 million project that will offer K-12 education, health, and recreation all in one spot.

Construction on the city-schools partnership, called Emeryville Center of Community Life, started about a year ago, and when it is completed will include elementary and high schools for 700 students, a public swimming pool, a health clinic, a library, a recreation center and teen and senior centers.

"It's a big deal for this little town," said Emeryville City Manager Sabrina Landreth. "The whole idea is to wrap our arms around residents from infants to seniors."

Landreth said the project on San Pablo Avenue, between 47th and 53rd streets, has been in the "vision stages" for about 12 years and once carried a $200 million price tag. She said the city, which has about 10,000 residents, had to get a state law passed to allow the school and community centers to be used and financed together.

A gymnasium and the swimming pool will be finished next summer, and the high school, called Emery Secondary School, will open in November or December 2015, said Landreth. High school classes currently are held in Oakland's Santa Fe Elementary School on 54th Street.

"The priority is to get the high schoolers in as soon as possible," Landreth said. "The elementary school will open in the spring of 2016, and the library, the city's first, will open sometime around summer or fall of 2016."
Classes for K-8 grades are currently held at the city's Anna Yates Elementary School on 41st Street.

Landreth said the school has entered into a partnership with LifeLong Medical Care to run the health center.
"Eventually, that will be a full community wellness center," Landreth said.
Emeryville schools Superintendent John Rubio said the school district is putting about $70 million toward construction of the project and the city the remaining $20 million. Emeryville voters in 2010 approved property tax-funded bonds that will cover construction costs, Rubio said.
And unlike other school districts who guard their schools from students living outside the area, Emeryville takes all-comers, Rubio said. Sometimes up to 75 percent of the city's students come from Oakland, he said.
"They do have to get permission from their home district to come here, because we welcome them if we have the space," Rubio said. "If there are families that believe their children might be more successful at one of our schools, then we're open to it."
Contact Doug Oakley at 925-234-1699. Follow him at


  1. Nice to know and see that the School administration is finally admitting that the Emeryville School District is not primarily Emeryville residents. When will taxpayers get pissed that we are paying to build and run a nice new school for Oakland residents? I know I'm kind of pissed.

    1. There's really no other way. Because the City Council refused to say NO to any developer over the last 20 years, there's nowhere for families to live in Emeryville. The City Council, by their lack of planning, assured the ECCL would be primarily for Oakland residents. Personally, I think Oakland kids are just as good as Emeryville kids, but there should have been truth telling about this from the School District and City Hall as you have noted.

    2. Oakland kids ARE just as good as Emeryville kids; no dispute. However,
      why should tiny Emeryville set itself up to provide education to outsiders?
      It's only about money, and it is disgusting; especially since it comes on the backs of Emeryville Property Taxpayers. OUSD has a responsibility, too. Brian, you are on the wrong side of this one.

    3. Sorry, you have to remember the PUBLIC part of public education. Public schools are open to all comers...that's central to it. You have a right to be angry but your beef should be with the (former) Emeryville City Council majority and the Emery School District for not being transparent about this and for not delivering family friendly housing over the last decades.
      Remember, public schools are not private schools, nor should they be.