October 25 – Livermore, CA – Today, Steve Stewart, Planning Manager of the City of Livermore’s Community Development Department, visited a senior civics class at Livermore High School (LHS) to discuss the concepts being looked at for downtown Livermore. He presented a look at the City’s goals moving forward, in particular plans for the lots on both sides of South Livermore Avenue along the Railroad Avenue intersection. The community has provided input for the proposed concepts in the form of a committee since April, and neighborhood meetings have been held four times since September. Discussion has primarily revolved around a boutique hotel and increased parking to accommodate. The seniors in Mrs. Matthews’ Civics class had interests in other potential developments.
Several students made the point that there were many places for adults to go, but that the downtown was essentially “wedged between two high schools” with not enough places for students to comfortably spend time. The restaurants give younger people a place to gather for food, but once they finish eating, the options for them downtown are limited. The class agreed more outside space would be welcome, and one student suggested more trees for shade. They also showed interest in the potential for a cultural facility, such as a gallery or a museum with a rotation of exhibits.
Clearly, what mattered to the students was that there was a space for them in the planning and in the future of the City. Stewart welcomed the thoughtful engagement of the class, but reminded them that it would always come back to cost. A crucial part of the planning and decisions comes down to how much the City would need to spend and the revenue it could expect from the investments of developing. A museum or amply-shaded open space would be appreciated, especially by young people, but would need to be balanced by plans that ultimately benefit Livermore’s economy.
Stewart encouraged the students to voice their opinions in the coming weeks when community feedback will reach the City Council. Involvement from all members of the community will be important, and fostering a sense of civic responsibility among future generations is as vital to the improvement of Livermore as anything else. For the LHS civics students, this was a valuable exposure to local government, and for the City of Livermore, a worthwhile effort to engage with its citizens.
ABOUT LIVERMORE VALLEY JOINT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
LVJUSD is an award-winning district that serves more than 13,700 students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade at nine elementary campuses, two K-8 schools, three middle schools, two comprehensive high schools, and two alternative schools. The LVJUSD features International Baccalaureate Programmes and a STEM pathway, TK-12. The mission of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District is to ensure each student will graduate with the skills needed to contribute and thrive in a changing world. For more information about the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District please visit www.livermoreschools.com