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COSTA MESA | Community News Focus

City Studies Buying School District Land

March 30, 1996|HOPE HAMASHIGE

The City Council on Monday will consider buying from Newport-Mesa Unified School District the 18 acres of farmland surrounding Costa Mesa High School.

For months, the future of the land has been up in the air as the school district, which wants to raise money to pay for repairs at schools across Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, has weighed the best way to use the property.

District officials in February backed out of a deal to lease the land to the city, saying that it could make more money by selling the land to a real estate developer.

The city had planned to convert most of the land to a football stadium with a track, soccer fields and basketball courts for public use.

Later that month, however, the Board of Education voted against selling the land to a home builder after residents begged them not to. The residents said they wanted the district to give the city a chance to convert the property into parkland.

The district took the public comment to heart and offered the land, assessed at about $10 million, for sale to the city.

The district would make less money selling to the city because government agencies are required to sell property to one another at discounted rates. The school district would receive several million dollars, though, even at a discounted rate.

The council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive. Information: (714) 754-5225.

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