The Los Altos California Community Monthly Newsletter

The Los Altos Community Newsletter

Each month, the Los Altos Neighborhood Network publishes several new insightful articles - written by community members, for community members!

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Friends of Grant

Grant Elementary, located on Holt Avenue, was a K-6 Elementary school and part of the Cupertino Union School District. Built in the 1950’s, it served Los Altos students who resided to the south and west of Fremont Ave. Grant closed to public school students at the end of the 1978-1979 school year, and for the following six years, the school site was leased to Pinewood School. In 1986, the decision was made to sell the property.

Grant Park sign small
The imminent sale of the Grant Elementary school brought together a handful of neighbors: Cindy Andrews, Barbara Loebner, Leon Pirofalo, Earl Jezek, Scott and Sheryl Miller, Barbara McChesney, Tom Winant, Bev Caballero and Erica Atkinson. These people became the original Friends of Grant, and their goal was to keep this land open for all generations. Opening up this section of town, located between major traffic arteries, meant that the acquisition of the Grant property by the City would create a safe park and open space for the Southern ‘landlocked’ Los Altos residents.

Grant Park play structure small
The Friends of Grant lead the community in their appeals to purchase the land from the Cupertino Union School District. After a door to door city- wide survey of residents showed enormous support for additional park land, the City Council placed the issue on the ballot. Just shy of 66.6%, the bond failed, although the outpouring of citywide support of the effort made the Council reconsider the community's request. Through the Naylor Act, enacted in 1980 to discourage school districts from selling surplus property to developers, and offering the surplus playgrounds first to government entities at a reduced rate, Los Altos agreed to purchase the property for the City. On June 8, 1991, the City officially dedicated the five acres of open space to the residents of Los Altos.

Grant Park play structure2 small
Years passed. New neighbors joined the Friends of Grant and continued to work with the City to improve the property. One such endeavor, along with the support and oversight of Council member David Casas, lead to expanded summer concert offerings at Grant Park. The success of the summer concerts lead to the establishment of the Los Altos Summer Concert Series.

Grant Park, located in the heart of a neighborhood and bounded by Foothill Expressway, Grant Road, Fremont Road and Homestead Road, boasts a multi-purpose room and classroom facilities, a picnic area, play structures, a basketball court and soccer field and provides a host of programs to the community where all are welcome throughout the year.