Foster City officials: Revenue outweighs high school

While parents continue to campaign for a high school for Foster City’s children, officials say a more important priority is the city’s long-term economic health.

Most of the high school students in the city currently attend Hillsdale High School. Local parents, however, say a high school, especially for students east of Highway 101, is essential, and want one built on a long-empty lot next to city offices on Forster City Boulevard.

Foster City Mayor Linda Koelling said a mixed-use development, possibly including a school, would likely be the best option, however.

“In difficult economic times, this becomes valuable property,” Koelling said. “[The site] might include a theater, housing, retail or some sort of school. But it has to … bring in revenue the city will need long term so we can provide services in the future.”

The Foster City High School Foundation, a nonprofit aiming to bring a high school to town, is continuing talks with two charter schools in hopes of realizing their goal. But the group plans on waiting until the city decides the fate of the 15-acre site before submitting a petition to the district, foundation President Phyllis Moore said.

Moore acknowledged viable revenue streams are essential, and pointed out that successful schools drive up property values and, therefore, generate more property taxes.

Councilwoman Pam Frisella agreed that it’s high time to get a revenue-generator on that site because the city was forced to dip into its reserves over the last few years.

tramroop@examiner.com

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