Ross Valley Schools

Ross Valley trustees make final offer in charter school lease talks By: Janis Mara ( POSTED: Thursday, June 9, 2016 – 12:00 a.m. UPDATED: 2 DAYS AGO Charter school planners are negotiating with the Ross Valley School District for classrooms at Red Hill School in San Anselmo. (Robert Tong/Marin Independent Journal) The Ross Valley School District board Thursday made a final offer on the Ross Valley Charter School’s bid to lease Red Hill School classrooms in San Anselmo. In the bid, the charter asked for a five-year lease at $185,020 a year. The charter also asked for up to $120,000 a year in credits for fixing up the building. The district countered the latter request with an offer of a one-time credit of $120,000 at the end of the third year of the lease. “We are trying to make this work, if there is any possible way to do that,” said Superintendent Rick Bagley. “Our primary concern is the district.” The charter school has until 5 p.m. Friday to accept or reject the board’s final offer. Advertisement The state Board of Education in January approved a controversial plan to move the district’s Multi-Age Program off campus and turn it into a charter school. Backers asked the district to rent empty classrooms at Red Hill School in San Anselmo to the charter. The district then issued a bid package for the rental of Red Hill. Two entities, Caulbridge School, a Fairfax private school, and the charter school, bid on the rental. Both those bids were rejected in April and the bidders were invited to re-submit bids. Caulbridge did not re-submit a bid, but Ross Valley Charter did. Regardless of whether the charter school accepts the board’s offer, it is too late for the charter to fix up the 10 classrooms it’s asking to rent in time to open in the fall. Saying he was “disappointed” at the board’s offer, Conn Hickey, the charter’s chief financial officer, described the district’s proposed lease as “onerous.” He said, “This lease is very different than all the leases with other tenants in terms of who is assuming the risk.” Ross Valley School District Board President Anne Capron responded, “We have an agreement with the Montessori preschool (San Anselmo Montessori School) that is in Red Hill currently. They actually do all their own upkeep and renovation and pay more (rent) than what the charter is being offered.” While Hickey said, “We don’t believe it is a prudent financial decision to sign such a lease,” he added, “We have a day to decide. We will make up our minds by 5 p.m. Friday,” which is the deadline for the charter to accept or reject the final offer. The charter school’s original bid package, which was rejected in April, did not meet the district’s terms and conditions, according to the board’s legal counsel. Caulbridge’s bid of $78,000 annual rent was lower than the $185,000 minimum the board set. Both Caulbridge and the charter were invited to re-bid, but only the charter submitted another bid. Marketplace © 2016 Digital First Media v. 0.968 Contact Us Privacy Policy Copyright View Desktop Site David Nolen Swaim Owner Tam Realty Inc DRE-1070789 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960 415-710-5504

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