School district accepts $100,000 from city

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District on Tuesday night accepted the first installment in a grant program from the city of Costa Mesa that could add up to half a million dollars over five years.

The city approved a $100,000 grant in February that will fund seven athletics improvements at Costa Mesa's high schools.

Since then, the two campuses have applied for $96,000 in projects that the city believes will benefit the public as well as students.

"This is a new project, and we're very grateful for the city to be working with our two high schools in Costa Mesa," Supt. Fred Navarro told Newport-Mesa's school board.

Costa Mesa High School will receive $4,000 for seating at baseball and soccer fields, $3,000 for portable soccer goals, $32,000 to replace infield turf on the varsity baseball field and $7,000 to replace fencing on the varsity baseball field.

Estancia High School will receive $5,000 for varsity baseball field improvements, $15,000 for a roll-up divider in the gym and $30,000 to build a softball batting cage.

"Great improvements for our schools," school board member Katrina Foley said.

The money is meant to fund capital improvements at the high schools because they offer the public access during non-school hours.

Many of the school district's facilities in Costa Mesa are governed by a joint-use-agreement that guarantees community access and splits maintenance costs between the two governing bodies.

All the projects under this grant program are proposed by the schools, vetted and approved by the city, and finally forwarded to the school board, which has to give final approval to the acceptance of any gift or grant.

School board members supported the idea unanimously.

"Thank you city of Costa Mesa," school board member Martha Fluor said.

The city projects that it will continue the grant program for five years, according to the resolution passed by the council in February.

That prompted Foley to ask if there is going to be another $100,000 next year.

"If they continue to appropriate it, I'm sure there is," Deputy Supt. Paul Reed said. "It's intended to be an ongoing program."

The school board will continue to vote on the individual grants if and when they're continued by the city, Reed said.

Separately, Costa Mesa has also proposed to pay $3.5 million to revamp the football field and track at Mesa.

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