Money runs low to finish Mountain House High
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 18, 2013 | 4372 views | 1 1 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff for Mountain House High sought
An aerial view of the Mountain House High School construction site photographed on Oct. 2 shows progress on construction of the classroom buildings and sports fields.  Courtesy photo
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MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Short on funding, the members of the Lammersville Unified School District Governing Board must prioritize the five remaining structures in the final phase of construction at Mountain House High School.

Superintendent Kirk Nicholas told board members Wednesday night that they might have to choose among a pool, a theater, a library and buildings for vocational education and sports equipment storage. All together, they would cost $32 million.

"There are some projects we want to finish and don’t have the money for," Nicholas said. "An important decision will have to be made soon."

He said the third and final phase of construction of the high school on Mustang Boulevard is expected to be done by December 2014.

The district expects to have $10 million to $15 million remaining in the high school budget at the end of phase two, which could be used for one or two of the options, said school Principal Ben Fobert.

"We have the money, it’s just which ones do we want to go first," he said.

Fobert said the cost of the remaining high-ticket items is about $3 million for the pool, $8 million for the library, $12 million for the theater and $8 million for the vocational building.

He said one option would be to put up a temporary library and build a permanent one later.

As for the pool, Fobert noted that water sports had been at the top of the students’ wish list.

To help the district find more money for phase three, a representative of Capital Public Finance Group gave a brief presentation at the meeting.

She said the key was to be creative, using the remaining $10 million to $12 million as a starting point.

Her ideas included creating a partnership with a local company and reviewing the mitigation agreement with the project’s developer.

"Overall it’s about developing a plan," she said.

The board agreed to let Capital work on a possible solution.

To try to get more money into the district, Nicholas also recommended the creation of a nonprofit foundation to accept large donations. He said one corporation requested a nonprofit to offer its donation to the high school.

Board member Shane Nielson suggested having a community meeting to get resident input on the five projects, but the board agreed with Matthew Balzarini, who advised waiting for input from Capital.

Residents will be given the first opportunity to see the high school campus on Nov. 16 as part of a community tour program from 10 a.m. to noon.

For information: 836-7400.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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October 29, 2013
Well, you really have no choice. Build a library first. When the MHCSD General Manager cuts the fire department's contract in half, the MH paramedics will have fewer calls to a library than an athletic field.

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