New Haven Unified School District Earns Needed Funds to Help Further Mission

Cabello-aerial-186x186In January 2015, New Haven Unified School District closed escrow on the sale of the former school site, Cabello Elementary School, giving the District a much needed infusion of significant funds to help overcome prolonged state budget cuts.

For over three (3) years Dutra Cerro Graden (DCG) worked with the New Haven Unified School District (“the District”) to identify how to strategically leverage their underutilized and surplus property. These efforts were focused on aligning the District’s resources to more effectively meet their mission of educating the children in their community. This analysis included the potential relocation of the District office and the lease or sale of two (2) closed school sites, the former Barnard-White Middle School and Cabello Elementary School.

The District ultimately decided to weigh the merits of relocating the office site at a future date and to lease the Barnard White Middle School to garner ongoing revenue for the District and to accommodate future unplanned growth in student enrollment. To help offset the District’s more immediate ongoing cash challenges caused by continued state cuts to the education budget, the District asked DCG to evaluate the benefits of selling their Cabello Student Support Center in Union City, CA. The Cabello site was built in 1975 and operated as an elementary school until 2007, when declining enrollment prompted the school to close. It was subsequently used for student support services and leased to various non-profit organizations.

DCG helped the District form a “7-11 Committee” that is mandated by the state when reviewing the potential lease or sale of District property.  Named the “7-11 Committee” based on the minimum and maximum number of community participants that must constitute this group, they are charged with weighing all evidence and stakeholder input in order to make a recommendation to the District with regard to the best use of the site. After thorough analysis and a determination that the site would not be needed in the future, the 7-11 Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the Board that they sell the site for its “Highest and Best Use”.

After receiving Board direction to sell the site, DCG acted as the District’s project manager for the entire state-mandated process for selling a surplus school site. From issuing a Request for Proposal for the site in 2013 to the close of escrow, DCG provided the expertise needed for the District to make informed decisions every step of the way. Benefitting from DCG’s expertise in marketing and negotiating the sale, the District had the luxury of choosing between eleven (11) offers for the site ranging from $9 million to over $14 million.

The property ultimately sold for $14,275,000 and closed escrow in January 2015. Funds from the sale will help bring the District towards fiscal sustainability and allow it to reinvest in its mission to develop and empower their students to be productive, responsible and successful member of the community.