The Cubberley Co-Design Process is an opportunity for the Palo Alto community to envision a new future for this valuable community asset. The Palo Alto Unified School District and the City of Palo Alto are jointly inviting you to participate in this exciting process. Through four iterative community meetings and corresponding online engagement, the Palo Alto community will help shape a master plan for the Cubberley site.
Help us Re-imagine Cubberley!
The Palo Alto Unified School District and the City of Palo Alto invite you to kick off an exciting co-design process to envision a new future for Cubberley Community Center that will also create the potential for a future school on the site. Members of the community—you!—are essential to the co-design process, which will use interactive exercises and activities to gather ideas and information about what you view as the needs, goals, and opportunities for Cubberley. We have partnered with Concordia, an engagement and design firm, to run the co-design process and help determine how this unique process can best serve Palo Alto’s educational and community needs now and into the future.
Please join us in the Cubberley Pavilion on Thursday, September 27th, 7-9 p.m., for the first of four meetings in this iterative process. Each meeting will build upon the results of the previous meeting and your continued participation will help us ensure that everyone’s visions are considered as we together create a master plan for Cubberley.
Childcare will be provided (children must be potty-trained). Spanish and Mandarin interpreters will be on hand and translated activity materials will be provided.
RSVP at our Eventbrite here.
See you there!
Cubberley is a 35-acre site at 4000 Middlefield Road. It is the last, largest piece of publicly-owned land in the City that has a near-term opportunity for redevelopment for community benefit. The Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) owns 27 acres of the site, and the rest is owned by the City of Palo Alto. Cubberley is adjacent to two residential neighborhoods: Greenmeadow and Charleston Gardens. The site is near Mitchell Park and contiguous with two other School District properties: Greendell and 525 San Antonio Road.
The site was home to Cubberley High School from 1956 to 1979, when it closed due to declined school enrollment. In 1990, the site reopened as Cubberley Community Center. The City operates Cubberley through a lease agreement with PAUSD. The Center is home to over thirty long-term tenants and provides hourly rental space for special events. The programs at the site include daycare, early childhood education, artist studios, dance studios, language classes, after school programs, martial arts, sports, senior services, health services, and many other programs. These service-providers depend on Cubberley for its affordable rents and the benefits of having other community programs and rentable spaces nearby.
Long Term Tenants:
Acme Education Center, Art of Living, Artist’s Studios, Avenidas, BrainVyne, California Law Revision, California Pops Orchestra, Cardiac Therapy/Heart for Life, Children’s Preschool Center, Chinese for Christ, City of Palo Alto - OES, Dance Connection, Dance Magic, Dance Visions, Friends of the Palo Alto Library, Genius Kids, Good Neighbor Montessori, Hua Kuang Chinese Reading Room, Palo Alto Historical Association, Palo Alto Humane Society, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, Imagination School, Ivy Goal Education, Living Wisdom School, Make X, Melody’s Music, Minority Project, Palo Alto Soccer Club, Ranger Taekwondo, REACH, Silicon Valley Karate, Stanford Soccer Club, Zohar, and several outdoor sports groups that use the softball fields regularly.
Hourly Rental Spaces:
Auditorium, 5 Classrooms, Lecture Room, Activity Room, Music Room, 2 Meeting Rooms, 2 Dance Studios, 2 Gyms, Gym Activity Room, Pavilion, Ampitheater, Theater, fields, and tennis courts
You can learn more about Cubberley Community Center here.
Cubberley has served Palo Alto first as a school and now as a community center. Both PAUSD and the City see Cubberley as a valuable asset that will be needed in the future. For PAUSD, this is the only large site that can accommodate a full high school or large middle school if enrollment increases demand for a new school in the future. Given anticipated housing needs in Palo Alto, a new large school may be needed in the coming decades. Therefore, any plan must preserve the flexibility to house a new school on the site at a future time. The City has an interest in maintaining the vital services and programs that Cubberley provides to the community and increasing programming for greater community benefit.
Now is the time to plan for the future, because the buildings on the site are coming to an end of their functional life and the current site layout cannot accommodate both community center and school needs in the long-term. A large proportion of the site is underutilized paved areas situated between spread-out single-story buildings. By rethinking the site layout and program adjacencies, it is possible that additional uses could be added to benefit community users and future students on site. The master planning process will study multiple programmatic and physical layout options to support a comprehensive school in addition to new and improved community center facilities. The community will play a major role in this process. See the "Co-Design Process" section for more details.
We are not starting from scratch. In 2012, the Cubberley Community Advisory Committee (CCAC) studied the current conditions and the future opportunities at Cubberley. In working groups dedicated to School Needs, Community Needs, Facilities, and Finance, the committee engaged the City, the School District, and Cubberley tenants to analyze possible outcomes for the site. Their final report recommended that the best outcome would be for the City and the School District to come together to commission a master plan that accommodates the needs of the community center and a potential future school, with potential for shared-use facilities. The City and School Board have done just that. After an 8-month long Request for Proposals process, the City and School District jointly selected and hired Concordia to lead the master planning process.
The ultimate goal is to create a flexible and adaptable master plan for the Cubberley site that accommodates the short-term, medium-term, and long-term needs of PAUSD, the City, and the community at large. The master plan will illustrate future facilities on the site, demonstrating both form and function. It will include a phasing plan that will show the order of construction and demolition that will best accommodate program continuity. If successful, the School District and the City will adopt the plan and cooperate on plan implementation.
Concordia will work with the community in a “Co-Design Process.” This will entail four, iterative community meetings where community-members will work together to identify needs, propose opportunities, discuss options, and guide the master-planning process towards win-win solutions. At each meeting, participants will engage in one to two activities designed to gather pertinent information and perspectives on key project decisions. Each meeting builds on the work done at previous meetings, however; anyone can join the process at any time.
All the community meetings are scheduled for 7pm - 9pm at the Cubberley Pavilion. Online polling and other online forms of engagement will be used in concert with these meetings, but the meetings will have hands-on, discussion-based activities which cannot be fully replicated through online formats. We encourage everyone in the community to come participate in these meetings to inform the outcome of the Cubberley Master Plan. After each meeting, the project team will publish a document summarizing the feedback we received.
Prior to these meetings, Concordia has reviewed all pertinent City and School District plans, including the Comprehensive Master Plan, Parks, Trails, Natural Open Space & Recreation Master Plan, School Enrollment Committee Recommendations, and many others. They have also studied and mapped nearby assets and physical site constraints, including zoning limitations, protected trees, underground utilities, and other factors that will help inform community input at the meetings.
Meeting 1: September 27th
Meeting 1 will focus on community needs and possible additional program uses on the site. A second activity at Meeting 1 will engage residents on questions related to site layout that will establish spatial preferences related to major design tradeoffs. Both of the engagement activities will inform the next steps of the planning process. The project team will synthesize the results to inform three site programming studies which will be evaluated at Meeting 2.
Meeting 2: November 1st
At Meeting 2, the project team will present the three programming studies developed after Meeting 1 for feedback. Residents at this meeting will provide more refined input related to the overall site layout as well as program use. Following Meeting 2, the project team will synthesize community input and produce programming recommendations that will become the basis for the design phase which will begin at the start of 2019.
Meeting 3: January 24th
Meeting 3 will take place during the middle of the design process, and will gather design input on the overall site design and stylistic elements that will become recommendations in the draft master plan. Activities may include feedback on 3D massing studies and responses to precedent images of interior and exterior spaces that could be inspiration for the overall design of the buildings on site.
After Meeting 3, the project team will synthesize the feedback and use it to inform the draft master plan document.
Meeting 4: May 9th
Meeting 4 is a concluding meeting for the process. At this meeting, the project team will present the outcomes of the work and gather comments and feedback on the draft master plan. This will occur simultaneously to official public comment at School Board and City Council meetings, and various City commissions.
Final Master Plan
After the last community meeting and the comment period, the project team will revise the draft master plan accordingly to produce a final document which will guide development on the site. The master plan will include a conceptual-level design of the site, diagrams that show program and space use, a construction phasing plan, and many other details that articulate a shared future vision for the site. This document is the final product of this Co-Design process, and will become the basis for future architectural design.
If you have any questions, please contact one of the following project representatives:
Concordia: Bobbie Hill | email@example.com
Palo Alto Unified School District : Robert Golton | firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Palo Alto: Kristen O’Kane | Kristen.O’email@example.com
For more information about Concordia, visit their website at concordia.com
You can download a PDF version of the project information here.