LIVE OAK -- A new youth facility at Shoreline Middle School inched closer to reality Tuesday night when Live Oak School District board members approved a joint use agreement for the planned space.
The project was announced in June 2011 but has been stymied by numerous issues, including the requirement for a joint use agreement to be approved by the district, the Boys & Girls Club and the county Board of Supervisors.
Having now gained the approval of the school board and the executive board of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz, the agreement heads to supervisors Jan. 29.
"This is quite an accomplishment," said Tamra Taylor, superintendent of Live Oak School District. "It's taken a lot of work."
Tuesday's board meeting, held at Live Oak Elementary School, was attended by several representatives of the Boys & Girls Club, including Executive Director Tom O'Rourke and Board President Kathy Ruiz Goldenkranz.
"I think the fact they are all here is testament to how important this will be," said Patty Deming, the school district's assistant superintendent of business services. "We have all had a lot of headaches and heartaches and good times, and we are very happy to be bringing this (joint use agreement) to you."
The new facility will replace the portable classroom the Boys & Girls Club currently uses for its programs. It will be used by the school district during school hours and by the youth organization on weekdays from 1:30-7 p.m. The rest of the time it will be available for community use.
Deming said she anticipates supervisors will approve the agreement.
"They really want this," she said.
Once the third approval is granted, the Boys & Girls Club will launch a fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million to keep the facility operating for the next three years.
"We've had all the foundation work set," O'Rourke said. "We've been sitting tight waiting for this agreement to be finalized."
Board members passed the approval unanimously and were met by a loud round of applause.
Still, construction of the facility remains a ways off. Deming said she hopes to break ground in a year.
The building is expected to be about 11,400 square feet and will be built to fit LEED certification and be as energy efficient as possible, O'Rourke said.
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