By JOHN GLIDDEN | firstname.lastname@example.org | Vallejo Times-Herald
PUBLISHED: December 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm | UPDATED: December 11, 2019 at 4:09 pm
Eight different Vallejo school district properties – including the home of the oldest public school in the city of Vallejo – are up for possible closure.
A special Vallejo City Unified School District committee will hold a public hearing Dec. 17 to discuss the sale or leasing of the properties as the district continues to face financial challenges.
The list includes active school sites like Lincoln Elementary, Franklin Middle, Beverly Hills Elementary, and Farragut Academy, while the district’s main office building on Mare Island is also up for possible closure.
The former home of John Finney High School on Colusa Street and the shuttered Grant Elementary and Crest Center on Gateway Drive are the other district properties being considered.
“We have no immediate plans to sell these properties,” District Superintendent Adam Clark said by phone on Tuesday. “Holding the public hearing starts the process should the district and board want to put the property up for sale.”
Clark said the committee looked at numerous factors like location of all district properties, and enrollment figures at the schools before making its recommendations.
Any district properties sold would go toward paying down a $60 million loan it received from the state 15 years ago to state fiscally solvent, Clark said. Each fiscal year, which begins on July 1, the district pays back about $3.58 million to the state, with the money coming from the district’s general fund.
The district will owe $15 million as of June 30 next year.
When asked if the board would really sell the district’s main office, Clark said it was a possibility.
“We might need to do something drastic,” he said. “If we continue with declining enrollment, losing kids to charters, we will need to do something to stop the financial challenges.”
Clark cautioned that there will be several chances for the community, stakeholders, and parents to make their opinions known if the board decides to close or relocate a school.
Lincoln’s Principal Sandra Nahal announced that her school would be holding two meetings to let parents of children attending the school know about the committee’s recommendation.
“We are a family here at Lincoln, and while we understand the need for our school district to remain financially solvent, we do not feel that closing our school is in the best interest of our students and their families here at Lincoln,” she wrote in her message to Lincoln families.
Lincoln school, which has called the property home since at least 1869, was named after the 16th President of the United States.
The VCUSD Property Advisory Committee will hold its community hearing from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 17 inside the Hogan Middle School auditorium, 850 Rosewood Avenue.