Charter school opening under budget
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
May 10, 2013 | 4174 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BANTA — The new River Islands charter school is expected to open under budget in August.

River Islands Technology Academy, 100 Commercial St., Lathrop, is accepting student applications for its K-8 program.

Officials from the school are pairing with Banta Elementary School District because the district is overseeing the construction of the academy, which will become part of the district once completed.

Brandon Paige, associate client manager for EdTec, provided a budget overview about the school during a joint school board meeting of the two groups on Thursday, May 9, at Banta Elementary School, 22345 El Rancho Road.

Paige said the academy’s current budget is $635,497, but that could undergo “modifications” after state officials finalize their educational funding proposals next week.

“I’m not expecting a major overhaul,” he said.

Banta Superintendent Albert Garibaldi, who also serves on the charter board, said officials anticipate having the K-8 school completed by mid-July and ready for students in August.

“The educational program is going to be very exciting,” he said. “Groundbreaking is something we’re really looking forward to.”

A dedication ceremony is slated for early August.

“It’s coming pretty quick,” said Banta Trustee Frank Silva. “It’s been 12 years since we started talking about River Islands and the need for a school out there. As time went on, we saw it was going to become a reality. A lot of work to get to where we’re at.”

Academy Trustee Gene Neeley thanked Banta officials for hosting their first joint meeting. He said future joint meetings will be held twice a year.

As the school nears completion, Banta Trustee President Susan Dell’Osso, who is the project director of the River Islands community development, said residential development around the school is also progressing.

She said organizers expect to finish preparing 500 lots by August or September for five different neighborhoods. She said the first home models should be completed by February 2015.

As for housing costs, Dell’Osso said the builder would decide, but she anticipated prices of $140 to $150 per square foot.

For information on River Islands Technology Academy, visit

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or
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