School-site sales could prove financial boon 

San Mateo’s high school district could take the next step toward declaring one of its high schools surplus property and selling, leasing or developing it for tens of millions of dollars.

Tonight, a committee tasked with examining all of San Mateo Union High School District’s property and determining which parcels may be surplus will recommend moving Peninsula High School, a continuation school, out of its site at the old Crestmoor High site in San Bruno and declaring the 41-acre site a surplus.

The surplus property advisory committee, also known as the 7-11 committee, will also recommend declaring 3 acres of vacant land at Hillsdale High School as vacant property.

Though the committee did not determine how much money the district could make by selling, leasing or developing the Crestmoor and Hillsdale properties, an analysis done about five years ago pegged the value of the Crestmoor site north of $100 million.

The district’s school board will accept, reject or modify the committee’s report, but those actions will not commit the district to any direction with the property, explained Liz McManus, the district’s associate superintendent for business.

She said the school board will likely ask district staff for more information, like where Peninsula High School could be moved.
McManus said the district will have to go through a lengthy process if it does decide to surplus the property.

“It could be up to three years to complete the analysis and at least that long before this property would be sold,” she said.

Though there have been several meetings about the potential sale of the land, committee Chairman Mike Loy said so far, the feedback has come entirely from neighbors of the two sites, rather than students or parents at the schools.

“We did have complaints from some people because they live right there next to the school, and of course if anything was [built on the site], it would disrupt what they have right now, which is peace and quiet,” he said. “So, of course they’re going to gripe, but that’s understandable.”

The meeting will be held tonight at 7 at the Adult School on East Poplar in San Mateo.

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