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Friday, October 9, 2015

Construction Delay at Center of 'Community' Life; High School Won't be Ready on Time

High School at Emeryville Center of 'Community' Life Behind Schedule Again

Not Opening in January as Promised

The Superintendent of Emeryville Schools has conceded that Emery High School at the Center of 'Community' Life, will not be ready for students at the start of the new semester in January as had been promised earlier, leaving students without a certain school location as of now, the Tattler has learned.
The new delay, apparently a problem with the elevators at the two-story school, is the second one for the beleaguered project, coming on the heels of an earlier construction delay that pushed back the opening of the school to January 2016 from the original August 2015 proposal.
Emery's Superintendent, John Rubio, refused to comment on the latest delay.

Superintendent Rubio told the Emery School Board at their September retreat that Turner Construction, the lead construction company contracted to build the Center of 'Community' Life, would finish construction in March 2016 and that students could move into the new facilities at that time, in mid semester.  Mr Rubio indicated he was in negotiation with the Oakland Unified School District seeking to secure a new agreement to continue Emery's current arrangement to lease Oakland's Santa Fe School.
Emery has been using the Santa Fe Elementary School as its temporary site for Emery High School as the new school is being built at the San Pablo Avenue site of the Center of 'Community' Life.  The lease with Oakland was earlier re-negotiated to cover the first construction delay, adding an additional $1.5 million dollar cost for Emery, but Oakland at the time cautioned there would be no more lease extensions because they intend to remodel the school to get it prepared for the start of the 2016/17 school year for their own students.  Presumably Oakland agreed to the latest re-negotiation with Emery because they determined it would not interfere with their remodeling plans for Santa Fe School.
In addition to twice missing the finish date, the Center of 'Community' Life is also over budget and the School Board is exploring issuing another school bond to pay for the cost overruns.  Among others, the swimming pool has come in at least 200% over budget and has caused much consternation among City Council members since City Hall is on the hook for the extra costs.

Superintendent Rubio noted he intends on issuing a statement regarding the newest construction delay soon.


  1. The city is not on the hook for pool costs. The city already gave the District $25M. That the District can't build this ridiculous Taj Majal for the budget or in the time frame they promised comes as no surprise to residents that have been watching them blunder their way through this since the beginning.

    1. Actually, the City IS on the hook for these cost overruns. The burden is shared on a percentage basis and both the School District and the City has to pony up even though the School District alone is in charge of building the project. That's the deal we signed on to. On top of that, the District has shot their bond wad and they're almost certainly going to be coming to the City with hat in hand for more (in addition to issuing another round of bonds the property owning taxpayers will be on the hook for).

    2. 'shot their bond wad' is not a phrase I want to read first thing in the morning.

  2. This is expected; not surprising at all. Once they get this catastrophe resolved, it will be followed by another dilemma, and another, and another. These "Developers" are
    getting their education(s) at our expense. We get to "Hold the Bag". We are not amused. Public money grows on trees!

  3. Concerned that these atrocious over-budget costs take away from the quality of education that the students really deserve and the kind of support educators really need at the school.