DUBLIN -- The school district will study options to sell or make other long-term uses of the closed Nielson elementary school and the district's administrative headquarters.

The half-century-old Nielson campus in western Dublin was closed in 2008 to save money. To ease the sting to the neighborhood, the school board promised not to consider selling, at least initially. But now the school board said it's time to consider a broad range of alternative long-term uses and create a formal advisory committee to examine costs and benefits of the options. The deadline is 4:30 p.m. April 8 to submit applications for serving on the panel.

"Our core mission is to educate kids, but we also have an obligation to make the best use of our facilities," said Greg Tomlinson, president of the Dublin Unified School District Board. "We want to engage the public and community and bring together bright minds to look at the options for long-term use. "

Alternative uses for the closed school include continuing to rent space there, allow long-term leases, mothball the campus, or declare the property surplus and sell it. Since its closure, the Nielson school site on Amarillo Road has been used for child care, furniture storage and other uses.

After the Tri-Valley YMCA sought permission to rent space there for a day-care center for seniors, school district officials realized the change in use could trigger the need for expensive seismic safety and other improvements.


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"We think this is a time to walk out on the balcony and take a broad look at our options," said Stephen Hanke, the Dublin school superintendent.

Under state law, a school district is barred from selling off a closed school site unless it first creates and hears from an advisory committee with at least seven and no more than 11 members.

As long as a "7-11" committee was going to be created for the school, it made sense also to seek its advice on the 6-acre distinct administrative headquarters on Larkdale Avenue, Hanke said.

The fast-growing school district is outgrowing its headquarters and corporation yard, and may need to move elsewhere in time, he said.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.

surplus property advisory PANEL
What: Volunteers needed to serve on committee to study long-term uses for the closed Nielsen Elementary School, and current school district offices. The Application deadline is 4:30 p.m. April 8
Details: Visit www.dublin.k12.ca.us, or contact Shelley Fischer at 925-828-2551, ext. 8002, or fischershelley@dublinusd.org
Duties: Committee work expected to take three months, first meeting is April 22.
Representation: State education code says members shall be representative of district demographics, business community, landowners or renters, teachers, administrators, parents and experts in land use, building codes or environmental impacts.