Summit Denali High School finds new campus at San Aleso in Sunnyvale
By Ellen Hu
The Sunnyvale City Council has approved Summit Denali’s proposal to place its new high school campus on San Aleso Avenue in northern Sunnyvale.
On Apr. 23, Summit Denali and the Sunnyvale City Council revisited the plan created in partnership with the city staff. The meeting addressed the plan early on, and the council spent about 30 minutes discussing the topic. “I’m ready to vote on the issue,” Councilmember Glenn Hendricks said after reading the revised plan.
Issues that arose from the City Council in the Jan. 29 meeting were addressed in the new plan, the most important being the forms of reprimand that would encourage the school to keep parents and students from parking on the streets. After review, the City Council staff gave the plan a favorable recommendation.
The plan gives the school “accountability,” Summit Denali Executive Director Kevin Bock said. He hopes that this opportunity will provide northern Sunnyvale with a high quality high school option.
Several adjustments were made to the final plan. Summit Denali leaders will have to meet with the city staff two times a year to discuss issues around traffic, safety, parking and more. Transportation demand on the campus was also reduced by creating off-site parking. In the case that the school violates the parking agreement, several fines may be imposed.
The school has been in contact with a possible off-site parking location; however, the lease has yet to be made. With the approval of campus, the school will be taking steps to gain this lease.
A shuttle will be used to transport students to and from the off-site parking location. The shuttle will go between the school and the lot twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon in order to make sure students are able to utilize the space.
Other community members brought up possible locations for the campus, specifically at the location previously known as Sunnyvale High School. Now the private school named Kings Academy, Sunnyvale High School used to serve students on the northern side of the city. Now these teenagers attend Fremont High School.
Members of the public brought up the fact that charter schools can apply to school districts to use public school facilities. “We know this space is not perfect, but it’s everything our school needs,” Denali parent Sue Johnson said while addressing the City Council in regards to the San Aleso Campus.
“We think that San Aleso is the best site for the school,” Mr. Bock said while explaining the extensive search the school went through to find the location. The school originally found over 40 possible locations, eventually deciding that the San Aleso location was their target.
“How are we going to make sure no one parks on the street?” Councilmember Hendricks posed before the final vote was cast. He believes that the plan the city and the school created has added an element of “accountability” that was integral in the final decision.
Mayor Larry Klein agreed with the councilmember. “It’s nice to have something in place that enforces the parking,” Klein said. “I am very happy to support this plan.” The council voted in favor of the plan 7-0.
“This is clear evidence from the City Council that what we are building here is an important thing,” Mr. Bock said while addressing the crowd of Denali parents, staff and students who gathered outside of the City Council chambers following the meeting. “There’s good news tonight.”
Students are planned to move into the San Aleso campus for the 2020-21 school year. Until then, the current location on Washington will house the student body.
Featured image (at the top of this post): Summit Denali parents, students and staff gather outside of the Sunnyvale City Council Chambers in excitement after the council ruled 7-0 in favor of the new campus. PHOTO CREDIT: Valeria Torres