Newark school board members again are considering whether to sell a former school site that now houses three nonprofits group to help pay for expensive upgrades to the district's aging facilities.
Newark voters last year approved Measure G, a $63 million facilities bond, but those funds will pay for less than half of the district's $145 million tab for needed renovations, said Dave Marken, Newark's superintendent of schools.
So, the board again is turning to the campus that sits on a 10-acre parcel at 36120 Ruschin Drive -- the former site of Louis Ruschin Elementary School, which closed in 1989.
Dutra-Cerro-Graden, a Hayward real estate brokerage headed by Fremont City Councilman Dominic Dutra, delivered a presentation to the school board Tuesday night, saying that the sale of the property may fetch as much as $14 million.
"It depends on the market and the interest (of prospective buyers)," Marken said.
It's not a new issue; district officials first established a committee in 2004 to explore the parcel's sale. The site is the current home of Morning Star Church; the League of Volunteers, a longtime local charity; and the Kidango-Ruschin Child Development Center, which runs a preschool and day care center for infants of Newark teen parents.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to stay here," said Shirley Sisk, the League of Volunteers' executive director. "I don't know where we would be able to go."
District officials say nothing yet has been decided, and the school district aims to treat its tenants well, Marken said.
"Obviously, it's not going to be one of those, 'Oh, by the way, you're out,' kind of deals," he said.
In the meantime, district officials will continue to discuss the property with Dutra-Cerro-Graden, but a decision on the site or whether the brokerage firm will be hired is not expected until after the holidays, Marken said.
Newark is not the only district looking to sell property to help offset cash challenges. Union City's New Haven Unified School District board voted last month to sell the former Cabello Elementary School campus.
'Holiday Market' to be held at high school in Hayward
A daylong fundraiser is scheduled Saturday, offering food and holiday gifts at a New Haven Unified School District campus.
The "Holiday Market" event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Conley-Caraballo High School at 541 Blanche Ave. in Hayward.
All proceeds will benefit the school.
A variety of food -- including pupusas, tamales, churros, Colombian empanadas and baked goods -- and holiday gift items will be on sale, school Principal Mireya Casarez said.
A car show and a demonstration of Zumba -- an exercise technique that combines aerobics with Latin-American music and dance -- will be included in the festivities, Casarez said.
For more information, call 510-471-5126.
Hayward to upgrade technology in classrooms
Half of the remaining Measure I funds will go to improve the technology available in classrooms throughout the district.
Voters passed the $205 million Measure I bond in 2008 that was used to rebuild or completely renovate five schools in the district. The projects came in about $20 million under budget.
Trustees agreed on Wednesday to spend $10 million on classroom technology, $5 million on disability access and $5 million on safety and security at the district's schools that were not rebuilt or renovated.
The district can only spend the money on areas listed in the Measure I ballot wording, Assistant Superintendent Stan Dobbs said.
"The taxpayers made it clear what they wanted to spend the money on," he said.
Logan High theater performance scheduled
A student production of the play, "Stage Door," will be presented Friday and Saturday in Union City.
The play, which is being presented by James Logan High School's drama department, is scheduled to be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. All performances will be held at Logan High's Center for the Performing Arts at 1800 H St.
The romantic comedy -- a Broadway play in the 1930s that was made into a 1937 film starring Katharine Hepburn -- is about life in theater and the performing arts.
For more information about the student production, call 510-471-2520.
Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in greater Hayward and the Tri-City areas.