Sacramento City Unified to discuss new uses for old classrooms

By Cody Drabble

Sacramento school-district officials could decide today what to do with seven buildings that used to educate the city’s students.

On February 18, an advisory body known as the “7-11 Committee” urged the Sacramento City Unified School District to keep the school sites it closed last year instead of selling them, and allow community-oriented groups to give them new purpose.

Among the proposals, the committee suggested using the shuttered schools to house a Head Start Program, a long-term homeless shelter for women and children, a facility for the Northern California Boy Scouts of America, a satellite office for Legal Services of Northern California and a new charter school.

Speaking of the latter, a parent-led effort is already underway to convert the recently closed Joseph Bonnheim Elementary School into a dependent K-6 charter school. The district gave those behind the effort until July to get their application in order.

Anna Molander, chair of the 7-11 Committee, believed the recommendations can steer the district toward a positive note after a “traumatic experience” with the months-long process of closing cherished local schools.

The committee also advised using the sites for new community centers, a living laboratory community garden, a business center for the district, a district library storage facility, an expanded La Familia Counseling Center, and letting the private Camellia Waldorf School relocate to one of the buildings.

The committee arrived at its unanimous recommendations after five months of site visits, meeting with school-district attorneys and hearing proposals, Molander explained. With seven large sites ranging from 3 to 10 acres each, “almost all [of the proposed uses] can coexist at the sites,” she said.

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