Eminent Domain Used for School Site: Gilroy (CA) Dispatch, 12/8/05

The [Gilroy Unified School District] is still ironing out the details in order to purchase the plot of land that will likely house the new high school.

The [district] is invoking eminent domain proceedings to purchase the northwest piece of property but in order to proceed with the deal they must get the go-ahead from the city.

On Friday, district officials will meet with city officials to coordinate the impact Christopher High School would have on transportation in Gilroy.

Christopher High would sit on about 40 acres of the 58-acre parcel of land. And because the district is invoking eminent domain the family has requested a two-acre life estate.

The elderly couple would live on the land until their death. If the land purchase is approved the district officials have to map out the high school and specify the boundaries of the life estate.

Christopher High will eventually cap out at 1,800 students. The preliminary sketch of the new high school shows classrooms, courtyards, parking lots and athletic fields and courts fitting nice and snug within the 40-acres. The high school will only have a practice football field. Football games will be played at Gilroy High School.

The high school is expected to be up and running for the 2009-2010 school year.

Construction for the first phase of the high school, which will house about 900 students, will be funded by Measure I, the $69 million bond approved by voters in 2002. The land and construction will cost the district an estimated $47 million.

Although the high school's namesake is Don Christopher, the local garlic producer actually donated 10 acres located off of Miller Road and Santa Teresa Boulevard.

The district will probably sell that land to generate funds for other projects.

Gilroy Dispatch: www.gilroydispatch.com