District signals that agreement is near

Sentinel story

District press release:

Santa Cruz City Schools District Nears Agreement on Lease with PCS

Agreement Would Deliver Additional Funds for SCCS Student Achievement;
Provide Facilities Flexibility to Address SCCS Enrollment Increase

SANTA CRUZ, CA—Santa Cruz City Schools (SCCS) District today announced its Board of Trustees has given District staff direction to move forward and finalize a facilities use agreement (FUA) with Pacific Collegiate School (PCS) for the District’s Natural Bridges Elementary School campus.

The District hailed the potential agreement as a fiscal and facilities win for SCCS students because the FUA would replace the current under-valued lease agreement with a market-rate agreement, delivering short-term revenues to support the District’s 7,000 students; the FUA also provides SCCS flexibility in long-term facility planning to accommodate the District’s growing elementary school population.

“We are very pleased with this potential outcome,” said Superintendent Alan Pagano.  “With this agreement, SCCS would meet its twin goals of protecting revenue in the current state budget crisis and retaining flexibility in order to meet the steady growth in enrollment at our elementary schools.  This potential agreement would also better position the District to weather the state’s fiscal crisis and preserve taxpayer funds intended to support the classroom.”

“This would clearly be a win-win agreement,” said Board President Cynthia Hawthorne.  “Santa Cruz City Schools’ students and their parents, as well as the educators and taxpayers who support them, will truly benefit from this agreement. This agreement also would provide PCS a bridge to resolve their long term facility needs, while keeping their students together in one location.”

Next Steps
Following approval from the PCS board, details of the agreement will be worked out and the agreement will come back to the SCCS Board of Trustees for final approval.  Pending its approval, the FUA would supercede PCS’s application for secondary schools facilities under Proposition 39.  A PCS Proposition 39 request would necessarily divide the school by providing space only for the 56% of PCS’s student body residing within the SCCS district boundaries.

Background & Timeline on the Lease Negotiations
• 2004: SCCS (landlord) & PCS (tenant) agree to 5-year FUA for Natural Bridges Elementary School campus; average annual rent $200,000 (graduated yearly from $175,000 in 2004 to $275,000 in 2008)
• November 2007: Negotiations open for 3-year renewal of FUA

o PCS, using self-determined formula, offers 3-year average of $125,000
o SCCS, using professional appraisal of public school property seeks 3-year average of $420,000

• March 31, 2008: Negotiations conclude without resolution; PCS to vacate campus June 30, 2009
• April 1, 2008: PCS provides an informal offer of $200,000
• October 1, 2008: PCS files first-ever application for secondary school facilities under Proposition 39
• November 12, 2008: SCCS notifies PCS of willingness to consider reasonable offer for Natural Bridges campus
• December 10, 2008: SCCS Board of Trustees directs District staff to move forward to finalize new FUA

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