It hasn’t hit the press yet but Rockridge neighbors all know about it already. There was a meeting with them today. I sent a suggestion in that there be an open house to welcome everyone to the school if and when it takes on a new educational function. The word got out to M_________ and I was sent this email today:
Sent: 30-Jan-2017 03:25:16 +0000
Subject: RE: School Sales
Were you aware of this scheme of the Supt. to bus Woodland Hills kids to Rock Ridge? I hear it’s been under consideration, behind closed doors< for several months. Why the secrecy? We were told that this building was so dilapidated that it was cheaper to close it than fix it. What has changed, or was nothing true about the Red Plan? I don't think this is a good idea. M_______,
Here’s my reply to M__________
The state has an obligation to educate Woodland Hills kids. Perhaps Woodland Hills could find another District to do this but ISD 709 has had a relationship with them for ages. They bought the Cobb elementary school from us even before I was on the School board twenty years ago. It is old and expensive. We now lease it from them and they use the lease money to keep it in good repair. Its coming to the end of its useful life and they want to charge us a lot more so that they can fix it up. Or we can send their kids to a newer facility that may not require so much repair costs. That might be Rockridge, an empty school that has cost us money to keep warm and repaired since the Red Plan.
As for the secrecy. I don’t think its that big a deal. They needed more money and angled for us to pay them more lease money than we want to pay. We suggested Rockridge as an alternate site. I don’t think the secrecy is particularly helpful and I can vouch that paranoia makes people difficult to work with because they won’t trust you. The residents of the Rockridge site have scotched the one solid offer we had for a sale and they could scuttle this one too. I hope that doesn’t happen. They would like a school and Woodland Hills is a school with troubled kids that they have excellent success turning around and educating. At the end of the school day the kids will leave the school and go back to their campus in upper woodland.
Whether this will be a better financial deal for us I don’t know. It was a building whose sale the Red Planners were counting on to help pay off bonds. One more part of the Red Plan’s financing shot to hell.