MOORPARK : Board OKs Loan for New School

The Moorpark Board of Education on Tuesday approved obtaining a loan to buy property in an industrial section of the city for a new continuation high school. The price of the property is about $1.6 million, but the loan will be slightly higher to cover escrow costs, a district official said.

The continuation school is now located in the downtown area at an old high school site that the district needs to sell or develop to build additional schools. Use of the former high school remains at the crux of a long legal battle between the school district and the city.

Last week, in retaliation for failed negotiations regarding the property, the school district said the city can no longer use district facilities for park and recreation purposes. In response, the city has asked for a meeting of the City Council and school board to iron out the problems. No date has been set for the meeting.

Board member Pam Castro said she would like to see the former high school site used for educational purposes, such as placing eighth-graders there.

However, she voted for the loan agreement because the owner of the industrial property, Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, "has held that property in trust for us for a long time. If we don't go through with this, they could turn around and file a lawsuit against us."

The district is locating the new continuation school in a prestigious business park on the east end of the city.

Funds for the school building, estimated at $1.4 million, would come from a $25-million school bond facing voter approval in November.

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