Process begins to buy new building for Diamond Mountain Charter School
The steps the district will go through to purchase the building include getting the facility approved by the California Department of Education Mitchell said people from CDE came and walked through the building and the district is waiting for a formal report.
CDE does not look at the condition of the building, but checks major health and safety issues including: is there a high pressure gasline under the building or is the location near a toxic waste dump?
As soon as the district gets CDE approval, it will hold a public hearing and Mitchell estimates the hearing could be held at the Tuesday, Feb. 12 meeting of the LUHSD Board of Trustees.
The district is looking at moving to a new location, because DMCHS is outgrowing its current location in the Lassen Shopping Center.
“Enrollment is only limited by the facility,” Mitchell said.
Currently, there are 68 students enrolled in DMCHS and the new building could easily hold 150 students.
In addition, DMCHS is going through the accreditation process by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. A WASC team visited the school and recommended moving the school to a new building.
Mitchell said the proposed facility should suit the purposes of DMCHS and allow room for growth. In addition, he said the building could allow the district to expand its vocational opportunities such as starting a culinary school.
However, improvements will need to be made to the building in order to house a school. The board took a tour of the facility during a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 26.
Mitchell estimated the building will need $75,000 worth of improvements, which will include replacing the windows, update the heating system, repaint the building and put in new carpeting.
The facility will provide room for a library, a computer lab and teachers lounge.
Mitchell said developer fees will be used to purchase the facility.
The district’s current developer fees are $2.63 per square foot for a residential building and $.42 cents per square foot for a commercial building.
In 2006-2007, LUHSD Chief Financial Officer Debbie Fry said the district began with a balance of $212,519.31 and collected $153,656.05 in developer fees.
The district earned $8,142.65 in interest and spent $157,260.98, on improvements or expansions to current buildings. The money can only be used for school construction or reconstruction of classroom space.
During a Tuesday, Dec. 11 meeting, LHS teacher Debbie Oates asked where DMCHS students and staff would park. Mitchell said they would park in the same areas as the LHS staff.
She also asked if the district could rent the building rather than purchase it, but Mitchell said the building is not rentable because improvements have to be done. The district would be putting money into something it didn’t own, he said.
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