Call it shovel-ready

downtown complex drawing
image courtesy of Oakland Unified

After years of promises and let-downs, it’s about to happen: The construction of an actual schoolhouse for La Escuelita Elementary, which is now housed in a bunch of run-down portables on Third Avenue, between 10th and 12th streets. Phase II of the Downtown Educational Complex, slated to begin in the fall of 2011, will include nearby MetWest High School and the Yuk Yau and Central Infantil child care centers.

The project has a dramatic history; these schools are located on the piece of property that was almost sold to condo developers in 2006 to help pay down the state loan.

If you’re curious about the project’s timeline or want to see more pictures, check out the school district’s Every Student Blog

Have questions about the plans, temporary department relocations, or about how your commute (or a rare visit to Second Avenue) will be affected when the parking lot next to MetWest goes away? You can bring them to a town hall meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday at the school district HQ, 1025 Second Avenue.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    Nice Artwork. We’ll see if they even break ground.

    The crashing property tax revenue and state tax revenue will soon result in the state stripping all slush funds including the construction funds already earmarked for courthouses and public works. You see, the forecasts are running into the functional equivalent of riots in the streets. In order to try to maintain the government at all – the money must be taken. You can’t have a welfare state on top of a 3rd world nation with open borders for long.

    The only construction projects that I have any confidence in actually proceeding are those paid for with Obama’s printing press money and this doesn’t appear to be one of them.

    Take a look at Vegas (and Florida?) – that look of construction projects halted and fenced off. It can happen here.

    Nice artwork, though.

    Until California decides how it is going to exist economically, nobody is going to count on grand construction projects from the State or it’s State Agencies. This is a State that issues IOUs for checks and is in danger of having it’s American Express Cards shut off for non-payment this summer.

  • Bob Spencer

    Funding is from local voter-approved general purpose bonds (Measure B) so funding is assured.

  • Jim Mordecai


    Local funding of construction money provides a multiple of advantages. One advantage Oakland has is that it is able to borrow short term against construction money as long as the County Superintendent allows that to continue. This is a huge asset in these times but it is also a dangerous option.

    One more thing. The District has used Measure B funding in connection with State funding. As State funding shrinks so will the impact of local funding.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nextset

    One would expect that the bond measure funding for local projects will remain untouched. But: If the long emergency is what some calculate it is, nothing will be safe for much longer. If both the legislature and the people are in distress at the same time, anything can happen. Best to break ground as quickly as possible.