CAMARILLO : Money Needed for School Renovation

The Pleasant Valley Elementary School District has decided to pursue $6.4 million in state funds for renovating older elementary schools, even though the district will have to use some of its own money to pay for the modernization project.

The school board voted 4 to 0 Thursday to apply for up to $6.4 million in special renovation funds.

District officials hope to use the money to install new ceilings, flooring and plumbing and make other improvements at Camarillo's six oldest elementary schools: Camarillo Heights, El Rancho Structured, Las Posas, Los Altos, Los Primeros Structured and Santa Rosa.

In return for the state funds, the district will have to turn over to the state all of the fees the district obtains from local developers during the period Pleasant Valley is receiving the state funds.

District officials estimate they will lose $700,000 to $1 million in developer fees during the two years it will take to complete their application for the state money and to finish construction.

"A 6-to-1 return on your money is not a bad bet," board member Jan McDonald said.

But McDonald and other board members were concerned because they have earmarked the district's developer fees to repay the $3.5-million loan for building Woodcreek School.

Without the revenue from developer fees, the district may fall short of money to make its annual $355,000 payment.

But the board agreed Thursday to dip into the $1-million construction reserve fund if necessary to make loan payments on Woodcreek School while the renovation project is under way.

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