Country Day moving to the grid

Newton Booth SchoolThe Sac Press reports that Country Day School is close to signing a lease for the old Newton Booth school building. I had not followed this story so I had no idea, but as a former Newton Booth resident I am glad the school will be getting some use. Country Day’s student newspaper The Octagon reported in March (in a very well written article! Kudos, Page Editor Calvin Fernandez) that the school “hasn’t historically gotten along with its Sierra Oaks neighbors,” another fact of which I was not aware. I wonder why, and I wonder how they will get along with the Newton Booth folks.

On a side note, the Sac Press reports this will make it the only high school on the grid, but while it is clear that tattoo shops far outnumber schools on the grid, surely there are other high schools on the grid. Namely, the Capital City Independent Study School at 7222 24th Street, Hiram Johnson on 14th Ave and 65th, The Met at 810 V St, West Campus at 25th Ave and 58th Street, and American Legion on Broadway at MLK. And there is a new addition: Heritage Peak Charter School, a non-profit independent study charter school opening on Broadway in Tahoe Park. Heritage Peak is going to occupy a new building that it appears is going to open — despite the recent economic downturn — with full occupancy, including an unnamed “bakery/coffee shop” and an express Chinese take-out joint.

Sure, not all of the high schools I mentioned are traditional campuses, but they are all accredited public schools. As a Tahoe Park resident I prefer an expansive definition of “The Grid.” But do most people who care about what defines the Grid only include Midtown and Downtown?

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

18 thoughts on “Country Day moving to the grid”

  1. While characteristics of “the grid” fall beyond the freeways (primarily sequential numbering), it is my understanding that “the grid” is really the area bounded by Broadway (or the W-X), Alhambra (or Business 80), the Sacto River (or I-5), and the railroad levee at C Street (or the American).

    That still means there is one HS on the grid (The Met at 810 V).


  2. amrit – Doh! Thanks for the catch. As I wrote this I kept thinking of more schools I would consider on the grid of streets. For example I left out St. Francis.

    wburg – I’m not sure how 65th Street and 14th Ave is not on the Grid. Is the Grid just Midtown? If so then surely Newton Booth is not on the Grid either. Is it only the parts bounded by the freeways? If so that seems limiting, as I can easily walk under the freeway. Or is it just whatever people who actually care about what The Grid means say it is. Choose that option. Do it. No reason…


  3. CoolDMZ: The Grid is Sacramento’s original city limits–its boundaries are 31st Street (Alhambra Boulevard) and Y Street (Broadway.)

    The letter/number streets outside the original city limits all had different names before being made part of the city of Sacramento.


  4. About Newton Booth: According to the city, the Newtwon Booth neighborhood is from 24th to 29th between R and W. NBNA also includes the Poverty Ridge neighborhood (19th to 24th between R and W) and the Alhambra Triangle neighborhood (30th to 37th between R and Hwy 50.) Part of the Alhambra Triangle is not in the original grid, so that part isn’t in the Grid.

    Neighborhoods can transcend boundaries, they change over time, but that doesn’t change the history.


  5. wburg – I was going to suggest as a joke that we define as the Grid only addresses that existed when the City was first incorporated. I like the history aspect, but it seems like for marketing purposes they could stand to use a more expansive definition. Is Southside Park on the Grid? If so then the Met counts as a high school on the Grid.


  6. From my understanding Country Day would only be moving their high school students to that site. All the other grades would remain at the current campus considering they just completed construction of a new facility at their current location less than 1.5 years ago. Also, their current location provides the facilities for most of their sport teams.

    The Sierra Oaks residents hasn’t historically gotten along with the school because of the students, faculty, and visitors parking in the streets in front of their houses. Although the street is public property and they could park there, the school came to an agreement with the residents to have an off-site parking lot for the students and faculty. Any street parking is limited to directly in front of the school and on Munroe street. Although, when events do take place at the campus, parking of vehicles does take place in front the neighboring residences, but I’m sure they let it slide for the night and don’t threaten to sue the school for parking in front of their houses on public streets.


  7. CoolDMZ: Yes, Southside Park is on the original grid, and yes, the Met counts as a high school on the grid–but it sounds like very few people are aware of it. I wasn’t until you mentioned it, I thought it was still the “Success Academy” continuation school. Hopefully that will change…as will the assumption that many folks seem to have that living in the central city and having kids are incompatble things.

    For marketing purposes, it is better to make clear where the Grid is–and that’s in the original city limits. Expanding the definition to include every place with a letter and a number puts “the grid” in places where the grid most definitely ain’t. That dilutes the brand, it doesn’t help it–folks like realtors are already listing houses on MLK Blvd. as “Midtown bungalows” and the Trammell Crow condos east of Alhambra have a big “Midtown” sign on them already, although they aren’t actually in Midtown.

    In my mind, rather than try to fit all these neighborhoods into “the grid,” market their own unique attributes. Land Park, Curtis Park, Oak Park, Tahoe Park, Colonial Heights and other neighborhoods have their own style to offer, different from downtown or midtown neighborhoods. Would you encourage New Yorkers in the outer boroughs to start telling people they live in Manhattan? Or all three million or so Chicagoans to claim they’re part of the Loop instead of repping their own neighborhood? In most cases, the result would be either derision or an ass-kicking.

    Stand right up and get proud about your neighborhood! Get a “TALLAC VILLAGE 4 LYFE” tattoo on your forehead! Start a trend of beating up anyone who tries to eat at Luigi’s but lives north of Broadway! And open a bottle of whoop-ass on anyone who claims Tahoe Park is just a part of “the grid,” and not its own neighborhood!

    Scott: Indeed, they are only moving the high school, not the whole campus. I think that part of Newton Booth already has permit parking in place, and the school itself has a parking lot–although I imagine part of the current lot would be converted back to playground use. Part of their plan, at least at the presentation I saw, was to have a shuttle bus that would pick up students at the main campus, with a stop at the 29th Street light rail station.


  8. I guess I was offering free advice to those marketing for the Grid, thinking they might benefit from being able to include more locations. But you’re right, that would dilute the impact of my Tallac Village face tattoo. People would still be revolted and intimidated, but then that would wear off and they’d be all like, Yeah but isn’t that just part of the Grid?


  9. grid or no grid. i am finally happy to hear that my highschool alma mater is this close to any sort of move. i’m almost incredulous that this decades-in-the-making-move is finally happening. the mythological new campus has been a running joke for years.

    quick question: so ‘the grid’ includes downtown? and midtown? east sac? or even alkali flats? or boulevard park? when did we stop calling those neighborhoods by their colloquial names and start giving them prison-esque (“i spent hard time on da grid”) or matrix-eqsue (“we are all slaves to the grid”) connotations? I think marketing takes a better liking to cutesey names that end in “park” (maybe not preceded by oak) and “heights” etc…

    From a marketing standpoint, I do like the idea of incorporating more ‘hoods into ‘the grid’ while still keeping their proper names because, unlike Manhattan, Sacramento is not an island. And we all (i’m currently living in Brooklyn) can still say we live in NYC, regardless of boro.

    Though we would never let folks from West Sac ever say they lived in Sactown. Perhaps we could just leave the exclusion at that.


  10. t scoop: “The grid” is what used to be called the “old city.” Midtown, yes. Alkali Flat, yes, Boulevard Park, yes. East Sac, no.

    The central city’s neighborhoods still have proper names, but are also part of the Grid: Alkali Flat, Mansion Flat, New Era Park, Boulevard Park, Marshall School, Midtown, Winn Park, Southside Park, Richmond Grove, Poverty Ridge, Newton Booth. They all have their own character, but are all part of the central city grid. It makes more sense than the semi-artificial “downtown/midtown” split–the residential neighborhoods west of 16th look just like Midtown, even though they are technically Downtown. Taking the “old city” boundaries as a single greater neighborhood makes more sense than that.

    Being part of a larger whole adds up to a neighborhood that is closer in size and scale to neighborhoods outside the central city.

    Neighborhoods in annexed areas can certainly say that they live in Sacramento–I just don’t see much point in considering them part of the grid when the point of the grid is the original city grid, not neighborhoods that were added to it later. What’s next, will Sacramento streets with names start switching to numbers to become part of “the grid”? Do named streets within the central city grid (Front Street, Alhambra, Broadway, Yale Avenue, Terminal Way, Merchant Street) no longer count as being “in the grid” because they don’t have numbers?

    About best sac: My wife sometimes remarks that West Sac is basically Sacramento’s equivalent of New Jersey.


  11. Take the “Eat the Grid” campaign. It seems like you might want to open that up to East Sac, Oak Park, Curtis Park… “older” neighborhoods that basically continue on the central city grid, that suburbanites are going to consider as being part of the central city. Sure, it probably does not make sense to count ALL the numbered blocks and all the Avenues. But if it was me I would want to include some of the business districts directly adjacent to the central city.

    I’m not trying to redefine the historical meaning of the term. I’m saying that when the guy from Sac Press uses the term, I don’t think he means “the original outline of the city when it was incorporated.” He’s using it as a marketing term.


  12. Actually, I think that’s exactly what he means. Are you suggesting that he is unaware of the presence of Sacramento High School, McClatchy, etcetera? If he is referring to your “expanded grid” his statement makes no sense unless he doesn’t know there are high schools in neighborhoods around the central city.

    Maybe it might be best to ask Jonathan what he meant, but it seems pretty clear that by “the grid” he was referring to the central city.

    Giving the old suburbs a separate identity makes more sense than trying to make them part of the central city. Despite the numbering schemes, there are big differences between, say, Land Park or East Sac and Midtown. The housing stock is radically different: there are far more single-family homes and a far higher rate of home ownership in those neighborhoods (the central city is almost 90% multi-family buildings, and almost 90% rental.) The different character of those neighborhoods has a different appeal, and should be marketed differently. The folks coming to the central city are looking for a more “urban” experience–something they won’t get in East Sac or Tahoe Park.


  13. I thought he was taking a narrow definition of a marketing term which I assumed many people use in a more loose manner. Though I would never challenge your city history skillz, I’ll have to take your word for it that all people who use the term The Grid are referring only to the streets that existed when the city was incorporated. I can’t fault anybody for not knowing about The Met, though. It wasn’t one of the schools that immediately came to mind.

    As for older suburbs identities, again I thought/think “The Grid” is a marketing term and not a replacement for the names of the hoods that may or may not be in it, including ones nobody is disputing like Midtown or Newton Booth. “Newton Booth” would look great in gangsta script on a t-shirt, free idea for the NBNA…


  14. It’s a marketing term all right, it’s just a marketing term intended to describe the original city grid. It’s not a replacement for neighborhood names. I think the idea was that “The Grid” sounds kind of high-tech, vs. the older term to describe the original city grid, “The Old City”, as in “Sacramento Old City Association.”

    I can’t speak for everyone who has ever picked up that particular marketing term, but from what I have heard of its usage, both as a marketing term and as a term that people seem to have picked up, it refers to the central city, not just any neighborhood in town with letter/number streets.

    One point to be made is that many of the neighborhood names are also marketing terms: “Boulevard Park” is the name for a developer’s real estate project built on the site of the old State Fair racetrack at 20th & H. “Southside Park” was the new name (that stuck) for the old Arizona Neighborhood south of R Street. “Poverty Ridge” was a nickname that stuck despite marketing efforts. When it went from being a hill that people ran up onto when the town flooded to becoming a fancy neighborhood of big houses, some early 20th century marketing guy tried renaming it “Sutter’s Terrace” but the name never stuck. Colonial Heights and Colonial Acres were marketing terms invented by the streetcar company that subdivided the land and sold it. Even “Old Sacramento” is a marketing term–that part of town used to be called the “West End.”


  15. I can’t get enough of that stuff, about old neighborhood names and such.

    So in conclusion, congratulations to Country Day, the 2nd high school on the Grid!


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