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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : District to Buy Land for ‘Instant School’

The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees this week voted 5 to 2 to spend $4 million on property for a temporary school that will be attended by students who live in the planned community of Aliso Viejo.

The school will be ready to house kindergarten through fifth-grade students by next fall. It will be what district officials call an “instant school,” a campus completely made up of portable classrooms.

A new school is needed in the area by next fall because the district’s student population projections show continuing growth in the Aliso Viejo area, which will further overcrowd schools in Laguna Niguel, according to William F. Dawson, assistant superintendent for facilities and support services.

Although board President Crystal Kochendorfer and Trustee Marlene Draper said they are concerned about the overcrowding situation, both voted against purchasing the land.

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“I’m concerned about having so much property with the lack of state funding for building new schools,” Draper said. “I want to make sure that our cash flow is good so we will be able to build schools.”

Kochendorfer expressed similar concerns.

“There are so many unknowns,” she said. “We don’t know how fast Aliso Viejo will build out, what will happen to the economy or what will happen with state building funds.”

Dawson said the $4 million for the land for the “instant school” could have eventually gone toward building a new school. But he added that an immediate solution was needed because the district has a “critical need” for more classrooms in the area for the 1992-93 school year.

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Construction on a permanent elementary school in the Aliso Viejo area is not scheduled to begin until next year, and the school will not be ready to house students until 1993, Dawson said.


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