Why does RVC wish to be located at Red Hill?
Red Hill School is Ross Valley Charter’s first choice for a long-term facility. There are enough vacant classrooms at this District-owned campus in San Anselmo (see map here) that RVC would be able to locate its entire school there without dislocating the current tenants.
Of the vacant District spaces available for RVC, Red Hill is the best long-term choice because it would:
- Cause the least disruption to current District students and families
- Enable all RVC students and teachers to be together on a single campus rather than sharing campus space with one or two other District schools
- Improve an otherwise deteriorating and currently unused public District-owned asset
RVC has repeatedly expressed its desire to rent Red Hill from the District. RVC bid twice in Spring 2016 to rent the property, but was unsuccessful because the District was unwilling to meet to negotiate some of the lease terms. More than 500 people have signed a Change.org petition encouraging the District to reconsider.
Now that RVC has submitted a Prop 39 request, under the implementing regulations in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations (“CCR”) Section 11969.1(b), the District may legally negotiate a long-term lease for Red Hill with RVC without needing to conduct a formal bid. Districts all over California have utilized this regulatory process to negotiate long term leases for surplus property to charter schools without going through a formal bid process.
RVC and community members are hopeful that the District will see the advantages of renting the vacant Red Hill classrooms to RVC, rather than placing RVC in classrooms at one or two currently operating District campuses.
Red Hill has not been used as a District school since the 1980s, but recent inspections have shown it to be in sound shape structurally. However, the school will need a fair amount of work to make it rentable to any new tenant. RVC considers Red Hill a “fixer upper” with a lot of potential. RVC is willing to fund improvements to make Red Hill habitable without requiring funds from the District’s general fund.
If necessary improvements and approvals are not able to be completed before August 2017, RVC is also willing to move to Red Hill mid-year whenever the facility is available for occupancy.
RVC hopes that co-locating on (sharing) one or two District campuses other than Red Hill would be a short-term solution, if the District is willing to negotiate a long-term lease Red Hill to RVC under mutually agreeable terms and all of the required public agency approvals can be obtained.
For more details, see page 16 (Facilities Location section) of the Prop 39 request.
For answers to these questions, see the RVC Facilities FAQ :
- Can RVC afford to locate at Red Hill?
- Can the District still rent Red Hill to RVC?