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History of the site at 4525 Union Ave

Previously used as a Children’s Shelter, the property is an 8.1-acre County-owned parcel located in the City of San Jose. There are nine stuctures on the property, all built in 1995, totaling 75,775 square feet of building space. The Children’s Shelter provided 132 beds for the temporary housing, care and custody of abused, neglected and abandoned children. The residential portion of the facility closed in October 2010, but a receiving, assessment and intake center remains open on the site. In May 2011, the county declared the property as surplus and no longer needed for County purposes and the property became available for purchase.

Sale process

On January 24, 2012, the County Board of Supervisors released a Request for Proposals and the reserve proce was set at $19 million. Sealed bids were due on March 1, 2012. On that day the bids were opened and bidders were then provided an opportunity to present an oral bid. The Harker School was the highest bidder with a bid price of $25.55 million. The next highest bid was from Xilinx at $25.5 million. Resolution 2012-308 was passed and adopted on 5/15/12.  The County then sent a letter to Christoper Nikoloff (Harker’s Head of School) on 5/18/12 letting him know that the purchase and sale agreement had been accepted and approved. A refundable deposit of $400K was paid by The Harker School. A Due Diligence period of 150 days with a 30 day extension began on 5/15/12.

For more details, please refer to the official document released by the County.

Important to note

The Harker School has not purchased the property, they have only placed a deposit for purchase. They must receive San Jose Planning Department approval in order to move forward with the purchase.

Broad overview of the development permit process

  1. The applicant files their permit application. Harker did this on 6/25/12
  2. The planning department holds a community meeting to let the community know about the project and to gather feedback (Held on August 14)
  3. The Planning Director holds a public hearing and makes a decision on whether to grant the permit. (Sept. 26, 9 am, City Council chambers, City Hall : Click here to view official notice)
  4. The Environmental Determination and Permit Application can then be appealed …
    1. Appeal Environmental Determination: anybody can submit this appeal. This must be filed in person at Development Services Center, City Hall, no later than 5 p.m. on Oct. 1. Click here for more details.
    2. Appeal Permit: Any neighbor within 1,000 feet of the subject property can file an Appeal of the Director’s decision to approve, conditionally approve, or deny the Planned Development Permit application by filling out a Permit Appeal Application. A complete Notice of Permit Appeal must be filed on or before ten calendar days after a copy of the decision by the Planning Commission or the Director of Planning has been placed in the mail to the applicant. So we have until Friday Oct 5th at 5pm. The application (for now) states to call to make an appointment to submit, but it will be corrected shortly to state that the application should be submitted in person at the Planning Permit Center (1st floor of City Hall).

Project Description

The proposed school includes the following components:

  • demolish two existing 4,877 square foot classroom buildings
  • construct a new 17,500 square foot, two-story multipurpose building
  • install a 45 foot by 75 foot swimming pool with 2,512 square foot equipment/changing room
  • construct a new driveway and cul-de-sac for student drop-off and queuing
  • add a new athletic field (natural grass)
  • develop three basketball courts
  • provide related landscape and hardscape improvements throughout the site
  • retain nine existing buildings as part of the proposed school

Initially, the proposed campus would operate as a pre-school, serving up to 120 pre-kindergarten students. At campus buildout, the preschool use would be replaced with a K-5th grade student body.

Operations. The school would operate on a year-round basis, including summer programs. During the usual school year, normal hours of operation will be 7 AM to 6PM, Monday through Friday. Occasional off hour events may occur on the property, ending no later than 10 PM. The campus may also be used on weekends; events may include performing arts presentations, parent-teacher conferences, Saturday swim lessons, youth sports competitions, open house, back to school night, other parent group gatherings, and community-requested uses.

Site Plan

Where do Harker students live?

Less than 2% of students attending Harker live in Cambrian. The map below shows where the majority of students will be commuting from.