Whether Ruschin Elementary School will be sold has yet to be determined, but board members authorized staff to look at the district’s options Tuesday night.
Newark Unified School District was given the green light to sell the school campus in February 2011 when the five-member board authorized staff members to solicit offers for the site, which sits on the 36000 block of Ruschin Drive.
But staff will now work with Hayward-based consultant firm Dutra-Cerro-Graden to determine what will be the best option for the district.
Dutra-Cerro-Graden Chief Executive Officer Dominic Dutra and Strategic Services Vice President Jerry Matranga presented the options. Those possibilities include making an overall assessment of the use of all district facilities, working on analyzing the district’s overall strategic plan or selling the property.
The first goal of the district, Dutra suggested, should be determining its overall goal of moving forward with any change to the campus. He noted that leasing the property allows the district to collect revenue consistently, but that oftentimes the revenue is low.
Additionally, Dutra, along with board members Charlie Mensinger and Janice Schaefer, stated that the disadvantage of selling the site would mean the district would lose that property permanently for a one-time, restricted source of revenue.
“I hate to sell property because once you sell it it’s gone… [we] need a good strategic plan for the revenue that’s coming in,” Mensinger said.
The firm, which has worked with neighboring districts such as New Haven Unified in Union City, did not present a preferable option to the board. Instead, the board requested district staff continue working with the firm before a recommendation is brought forward.
New Haven’s school board authorized its district's staff to move forward with selling a former elementary school site in mid-October after considering selling two properties — the Cabello Elementary School campus and the Education Services Center, which houses district offices.
Located on 7.7 acres, Ruschin Elementary School was built in the mid-1970s and is made up of three buildings. It operated as an elementary school for nine years before closing in June 1989, according to the California Department of Education.
Currently, the Tri-Cities Leauge of Volunteers, Morning Star Church and Kidango preschool operate out of the Ruschin campus.
Also at the meeting:
- Board members directed staff to talk with the city of Newark regarding a contract signed in 1987 that leases the district-owned fields adjacent to the MacGregor Alternative Education campus to the city for $1 per year. The contract was set to expire in 2007 but has not yet been revisited or revoked.
- Cindy Parks was introduced as the newest member of the Measure G Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. Measure G is a voter-approved $63 million bond that will help pay for facilities upgrades throughout Newark Unified School District.
- Newark Memorial High School Principal Ed Marquez introduced Cara Menard, the new instructor of the high school’s Marine Science and Technology program.
To see the board meeting in its entirety, click here to visit the district’s USTREAM channel.