Los Alamitos : Board Holds Off School Closing, Sales for Now

Los Alamitos Elementary School will remain open, and a part of the district's Pine Street site will not be sold to the U.S. Postal Service, the school board has decided.

Both moves had been proposed as part of a plan to solve the Los Alamitos Unified School District's chronic problem of declining enrollment. Although the sale of 3.5 acres of the Pine Street site received three votes, five were necessary for passage.

District Supt. Charles E. McCully said Tuesday that the sale or lease of property to another government agency without the public bidding process requires a unanimous vote.

The board also failed to reach a consensus on the proposed lease of Rossmoor's Lee School site to the Long Beach Unified School District. That proposal also received three affirmative votes and will be considered again at the board's Feb. 19 meeting.

In both cases, board members Arthur Genet, Nancy Lander and Mark Abrams voted for the proposal. Dissenting were Mary Holzgang and Virginia Wilson.

The board unanimously directed McCully to meet with the Postal Service officials to discuss the possible sale of the district office. That meeting will take place "within the next couple of weeks," McCully said.

About 175 parents attended the meeting, which capped a year of debate on what to do about declining enrollment and surplus property.

"It's been a long, arduous struggle filled with emotion and frustration," McCully said Tuesday. "But at this point, we're getting some of the decisions made that need to be made in terms of the best interests of the district."

Opposition by some residents to the proposed sale of surplus school property triggered a recall movement last spring against the three board members who voted for the sale of the Pine Street property and leasing of Lee School. Leaders of the movement, however, failed to gather enough signatures to force a special election.

In December, the board reached a consensus that included closing Pine Middle School in June, 1986, and assigning students to Oak Middle School. This week, however, the board decided that Pine Middle School will remain open, but Oak Middle School will close at the end of the 1985-86 school year if enrollment and financial projections remain the same.

The board also decided that continuation high school classes will be held at Jefferson Elementary School, and McCully was directed to continue negotiations with Seal Beach on the lease or sale of the Zoeter School site.

In addition to Los Alamitos, the school district encompasses Rossmoor, Seal Beach and parts of Cypress.

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