This community opinion was contributed by resident Randy Logue. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
It will be a year on the 13th that the shutdowns began. It has always been clear from the beginning that the virus itself would not destroy us, but our response to it might. Anyway now that there is some hope that life will go on, the city of Hollister, San Benito High School, and the County Board of Supervisors have an opportunity to do something truly great for the community and all of San Benito County.
If you drive down Nash Road past the high school gates there is a one block section of Nash Road between Monterey and West streets that the high school has long wanted for the safety of the students and staff, and to complete the construction on the campus. A few years ago a deal was negotiated to get that property to the high school, and in exchange the high school granted land to build the River Parkway behind the stadium, and that some of the land in the flood plain below the Parkway would go to the county to construct a regional park.
The finish line is in sight, it just requires that all parties remember that there are some win, win, win scenarios. The mayor and city would win by allowing the completion of the high school build out, and having a safer situation for students, and staff alike. In my 32 years at the school several students and a couple of campus supervisors were hit in the crossing area, and on more than one occasion there were near misses. The city will also benefit as people will learn to drive around the school, which may reduce congestion, also some people may choose to drive out Westside Drive to 4th Street benefitting the new businesses over there.
The high school would benefit by having the geographic center of campus be buildable, and students can freely and safely move from one campus to another. It will also help to make it “one campus” instead of the current three. The county would win by getting the land below the parkway to make into a park. The city has just completed a beautiful trail from Graff Road about halfway to the high school property. With the transfer of the property this trail could be completed, linking Brigantino Park to the high school park.
Supervisor Hernandez has a vision that someday it could go all the way from Bolado Park to the DeAnza Trail which would be awesome! The supervisors have several million dollars set aside in park improvement funds and could apply for more from the state. All stakeholders could contribute in deciding what type of recreational opportunities the park would give. There is a BOS meeting on March 16th, please let your supervisor, city councilperson, the mayor, and school superintendent know that you want the project to go through.
Let’s do something that indicates that the city and county will survive the pandemic, and come out the other end better. As an old coach I hate the idea that everyone can win a trophy, but in this rare case all three entities would have something they could value!
Respectfully submitted, Randy Logue