The city has started discussions to determine if the Anaheim Union High School District could provide a practice site for the Los Angeles Rams if the team is evicted from its present facility, city and district officials said Tuesday.
The city, which is contractually bound to provide a training site for the football team, is looking at potential new sites because the Magnolia School District--owner of Rams Park, the team's practice facility--has indicated that it may reclaim the former Juliette Low Elementary School when the team's lease expires on Dec. 31, 1993. If a new site must be built, it could cost the city up to $7 million.
"We are not negotiating anything, but we have had discussions with the high school district and other school districts about practice sites, but I do not want to go into those at this time," City Manager James D. Ruth said. "We need to have a viable alternative ready."
Ruth said the city would require at least 18 months to acquire and build a new practice site for the team.
Cynthia Grennan, the high school district's superintendent, said the district has two former schools that currently are being leased as well as a third property that could be available for lease to the Rams.
"I'm a teacher, not a land developer, so I don't know if those are potential sites or not," Grennan said. "But I do know this district needs to generate some funds, and we might be able to do that with our land."
Magnolia receives rent of $120,000 a year from the Rams.
Under the 1978 agreement that brought the team to Anaheim Stadium from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the city must provide the Rams with a practice site. When the Rams sued the city over problems with the stadium parking lot, the team dropped the suit partly in return for the city's promise to build a $7-million practice facility if the team was ever forced out of Rams Park, Ruth said.
Rams Park, on Lincoln Avenue, has on its 6 acres two practice fields, a locker room, a weight room, a cafeteria and team offices, all of which the team has installed or modified during its tenancy.
The Magnolia School District Board of Trustees on Monday took what could be the first step in reclaiming the property, declaring that the Rams Park facility is needed as part of the district's long-range plans.
Officials of the 5,200-student district said it may need the Juliette Low School back because of overcrowding in its eight schools.