The City of Alameda, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), and the Alameda Housing Authority have proposed an agreement that resolves longstanding issues for the three public agencies and allows them to implement key programs.
As a result of the agreement, AUSD will receive the funds needed to renovate the Encinal High School pools, as well as 20 acres of land on Alameda Point that could be used for school purposes. The City will obtain title to the Tidelands Parcel now held by AUSD and obtain title to 12 acres on Alameda Point. And the Housing Authority will acquire a site, as well as access to millions of dollars for affordable housing.
"We are very excited about the fact that this collaboration was successful and that it will offer so much to our community," said City Manager John Russo. "This is the kind of pragmatic partnership Alamedans have long wanted between the City and School District."
The Agreement Details
The agreement, which includes both sales and exchanges of land, will be implemented in three steps:
- The City grants $750,000 to AUSD to pay for renovations to the Encinal Swim Center.
- AUSD rescinds the deed to the six-acre Tidelands parcel, which results in the City holding the title.
- The City conveys a 20-acre parcel of Alameda Point property to the Housing Authority.
- AUSD releases the City from an obligation to convey a 12-acre parcel at Alameda Point that was part of an earlier agreement.
- The Housing Authority obtains title to the former Island High School site in exchange for fair market value of approximately $1.2 million, of which $1.15 million is to be used for the Encinal Swim Center renovation; the remainder goes to defraying legal and consultant fees related to the transaction.
- AUSD releases restrictions on the $4.6 million Housing Asset Fund so that the Housing Authority can access it to build affordable housing throughout the City.
- The Housing Authority gives AUSD the 20-acre Alameda Point parcel that it received from the City, which AUSD could use for school purposes. The City retains responsibility for general maintenance of the parcel for a maximum of 10 years.
"We are gratified and relieved that we were able to craft an agreement with the City so that our swim community will have greatly improved swim facilities," said AUSD Superintendent Kirsten Vital. "These kinds of collaborative partnerships between the school district and the City are crucial to caring not only for our students but for the broader community."
The breakthrough agreement, which is expected to be signed by all three agencies by mid-March, resolves a number of long-standing and complex issues, including:
- For many years, AUSD has held title to Tidelands property at Encinal Terminal and rights to land at Alameda Point for educational facilities, as part of the agreement that secured the Mastick Senior Center for the City. But those lands were not well suited for educational purposes.
- The City, in its role as the former Redevelopment Agency, held in trust affordable housing funds earmarked for AUSD for nearly 20 years. Over those two decades, $4.6M accumulated and the need for affordable housing grew, yet no housing was built.
- Finally, the schools' pools have been in dilapidated conditions for years, without the necessary funds to make long-term renovations.
The City Council, School Board, and the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners will each vote, in the next three weeks, on the agreement to resolve these issues.
"This is truly a win-win-win situation," said Michael T. Pucci, Executive Director of the Alameda Housing Authority. "All three agencies benefit from this agreement, yet no one agency could have resolved these issues on their own. I am hopeful it can become a model for such partnerships moving forward."