Thursday, November 17, 2005

With New School Coming, AmCan Weighs Amenities

November 17, 2005
With New School Coming, AmCan Weighs Amenities
By DAN JUDGE, Times-Herald staff writer

AMERICAN CANYON - The impending construction of American Canyon's first high school is presenting a rare opportunity for the city to acquire new community facilities like a theater, library and swimming pool at bargain prices.

Tonight the City Council will consider which facilities American Canyon should jointly fund with the Napa Valley Unified School District in order to gain public access to them.

"It is unlikely we will get a second chance to build another high school," City Manager Mark Joseph noted in his report to the council."Any investments made today will improve the quality of the high school and improve the amenities within this community."

The list of potential cost-sharing projects the city and school district includes a gymnasium, swimming pool, library, a performing arts theater and football field.

No final decisions are needed until January, but Joseph said he is recommending the city explore the possibility of contributing to a theater. It would provide the community and school a performing arts theater with more seating and better stage equipment than either could afford alone, he said.

The city manager also is recommending that the city consider partnering to some extent on a swimming pool, which could relieve pressure at the existing community pool during the peak summer months.

A football stadium also could prove to be a wise investment, he said.

Although the city could use a second gymnasium like the one it jointly funded with the school district at American Middle School, Joseph is recommending against it at the high school.

The time available to the general public would be too limited, he said. "At the high school level, they're going to use the gymnasium about 90 percent of the time," he said. "It's not practical."

Joseph also suggested the council study the possibility of locating a new library at the city's proposed town center project rather than the school.

After the council has indicated the facilities it wants to participate in, Joseph said those can be potentially incorporated into plans for the high school. "Once the council narrows the scope down, we can go back to the architect and say give us some ballpark cost estimates," he said.

The council's regular meeting will be held at 7:30 tonight in the Recreation Center at 2185 Elliott Drive.

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