For the Kids is a land development initiative designed to build a brighter future “for our kids.” We began, early in 2018, to study all existing District property with a view to identifying any under-utilized areas that could be potential sources of revenue for our teachers and students. It is no secret that public education is still far from fully funded, while district budgets are severely strained by pension mandates which have risen in the past few years from 8% to nearly 19%. We were able to identify such a property. It is a 12-acre land-locked remnant from the sale of Camden High School, which accounts for its odd shape. You may see it in this aerial view bordered by yellow lines.
With overwhelming backing from our community, including 1265 letters of support, in December of 2018, the San Jose City Council agreed to change its Master Plan to allow the construction of single-family homes on a portion of the District Office site.
At every step along the way, our top priority was to generate revenue while remaining a good neighbor to the surrounding community. We sought a project that would not significantly impact traffic, noise, quality of life, and property values. In the end, we settled on a residential development that will match the existing neighborhood in terms of density, lot size, orientation and form.
Prophetic rainbow seen over the under-used parcel at about this time.
So many incredible people labored to realize our goal: "For the Kids" team leaders Eve Walton, Smita Garg, Nicole Shaddox, Elizabeth Ward, Nicole Antonpoulos, Developers Chuck Toeniskoetter, and Mark Robson, Real Estate Consultants Scott Sheldon and Barry Schimmel, and of course the Board and Superintendent. The initiative is structured as a land exchange. In December of 2019, the Superintendent was authorized to finalize an agreement involving Robson Homes and the Mar Family Trust. For details, please visit the CUHSD website and click on “Community Resources.” The bottom line is that residential land will be exchanged for ownership of the Heritage Village Office complex near downtown Campbell, providing immediate tenant lease revenue. The purchase is now in escrow.
Each year, the Board honors our incredible teachers of the year. We need the revenues to compensate ALL of our deserving teachers and staff at a level competitive with comparable surrounding districts. We must be able to attract and retain great people.
In 1922, hundreds of Campbell residents came to watch the cornerstone being laid for the new Campbell Union Grammar School, located on the northeast corner of Campbell Ave and Winchester Blvd. Businesses even closed for the event! Designed by William Henry Weeks, a well-known architect in CA, the school opened in February of 1923 and closed in 1964. It was then home to West Valley College until 1976.
Photo courtesy of the Campbell Historical Museum and Ainsley House Foundation
This is a creative use of a mostly unused and undeveloped property that will generate significant revenue without raising taxes or negatively impacting our neighbors. It is the culmination of two years of study, effort and community outreach. Until education receives better funding, districts must do what they can to deliver quality education to our youth. Some districts are already reducing programs and services, something we are determined to avoid. I am so pleased that we are being pro-active in providing for the needs of our students and teachers, and that we are doing so in a manner which is in keeping with the values and ambience of the community.