SIMI VALLEY : School Board to Sell Wood Ranch Land

The Simi Valley school board agreed Tuesday to sell 1,800 acres in Wood Ranch for not less than $7.6 million to generate funds for construction of an elementary school in the community.

Last year, the Simi Valley Unified School District paid a private consultant about $40,000 to appraise the land and recommend development strategies.

But officials recently decided to sell the vast hillside property instead of building housing on the site.

"We do not want to be in the business of development," business manager Lowell Shultze said.

Simi Valley Unified recently settled a lawsuit with two developers over the failed development of a shopping center and housing on district-owned property at Tapo Canyon and Alamo streets.

By selling the Wood Ranch property, district officials hope to raise money for construction of a long-awaited 500-student elementary school in the 3,000-acre community.

As a result of the developer's failure to build the school, students living in Wood Ranch have had to attend nearby Madera School, which has more than 630 students and is nearing capacity.

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