YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


District Will Continue to Pursue Rent Owed by Christian High School

October 24, 1998|DEBRA CANO

Anaheim Union High School District trustees said they will continue pursuing legal action against a Christian high school for failing to pay $214,000 in back rent on a leased school site.

District officials Thursday updated trustees about the status of a lawsuit filed in August against Brethren Christian Junior-Senior High School.

The private school had leased a district-owned campus in Cypress since 1990. But the school moved out in June because the district wanted to use the site for a college preparatory academy, which opened in September.

Brethren did not pay rent from September 1997 through June 1998, district officials said.

"We need to pursue it so the public gets back their dollars," school board President Harald G. Martin said. "The board is unanimous in recovering the dollars."

Brethren's contract was renewed annually. The private school's officials were given advance notice about the district's plans to reopen the Orange Avenue campus as Oxford Academy, said Rita Newman, assistant superintendent of business.

Brethren officials said Friday that they intend to pay the money owed to the district. "We're people of integrity and we plan on settling this the best way we can," Principal Barrett Luketic said.

When the school was forced to find a new facility, it moved to Huntington Beach, he said, but in doing so lost about half of its enrollment.

"When you lose 400-plus kids, it's hard to make ends meet," Luketic said.

Because of the school's Christian values, officials said, they take their obligations seriously.

Clem Calvillo, board chairman for Greater Long Beach Christian Schools Inc., which operates Brethren, said it has always been their intention to pay.

He said that the company's attorneys will work with the district to settle the matter.

Los Angeles Times Articles