A gain of $5.3 million on the sale of the former Bear Street School property means that the most pressing of their financial problems are behind them, officials of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District said Monday.
“I think it is fair to say that the worst is over,” Supt. Mac Bernd said.
The district, which lost $8.2 million in the county’s failed investment pool, had expected to clear about $4.5 million from the sale of the former elementary school in Costa Mesa. Bernd said the higher-than-expected price, which came from Irvine real estate developer Polygon Communities, will cast a bright light on budget discussions when the board meets tonight. The property sale was the cornerstone of Newport-Mesa’s plan to make up for its losses last year when Orange County’s investment pool collapsed. The school district also had eliminated some non-teaching jobs and trimmed its expenditures to balance its budget. Earlier in the year, the district scrapped plans to open new schools that would have helped to ease overcrowding at some middle schools.
Polygon Communities has permission to build 79 single-family homes on the property at 3100 Bear St. Company officials said construction is expected to begin early next year.