Board of Education agrees to purchase former Verizon building to avoid 4th high school, offer more career exploration programs

The acquisition will allow the District to avoid the enormous expense of constructing a fourth high school, while providing our students with more career exploration programming.

The agreement the Board approved to purchase the building will bring an end to the litigation involving building owners Valley Equity LLC and the District.

“We are thrilled we were able to reach this resolution,” said Board of Education President Lynn May. “We did not want to put the community through the financial and emotional pain of building a fourth high school and with acquisition of the former Verizon building, we will now be able to avoid those costs.”

The District has agreed to purchase the former Verizon building for $9.4-million. A fourth high school would have cost between $70-95-million just for construction. The cost of acquiring 75-90 acres of land needed to build a high school and the fixed costs of about $3-million per year to operate a fourth high school are not included in the construction figure.

“The acquisition of non-traditional high school space falls in line with the recommendation made to us by the Master Planning committee last school year,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “We already provide three top tier, traditional, college prep high schools. Acquiring this building will provide us with the opportunity to provide more non-traditional, career exploration based high school experiences. The Board deserves a lot of credit for their perseverance on this issue.”

Obtaining the building will also help the District minimize future high school redistricting.

Work will begin immediately on identifying the renovations that will be needed to get the building ready for students. A timeline will be developed and the programs to be housed in the facility identified.

Mrs. May thanked Valley Equity LLC for continuing to negotiate with the District throughout a process that has lasted almost a year.

“Acquiring non-traditional high school space will benefit our students and save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars,” May said “The only goal of the Board of Education throughout this process has been to provide our students with enhanced career exploration and educational opportunities, while utilizing taxpayer resources in the most efficient manner possible.”

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