School District Facing Expenses for Keeping Empty Classrooms


La Honda Elementary School in Lompoc recently constructed new school buildings, but now faces expenses for old classrooms that were left standing.


Residents are worried about the costs of either tearing down the old structures or maintaining them. Without modernization or repair, the district estimates that annual upkeep would cost $36,000 plus an additional $2,000 a month for utilities.


Essential maintenance would require additional spending for roofing, heaters and upgrades to make the buildings fully accessible. This would cost the district $647,000 and possibly necessitate greater electrical capacity at an additional cost of $100,000 to $150,000.


A complete overhaul would cost the district $4.1 million to $4.2 million. Some residents and officials floated using the old classrooms as community meeting spaces, science labs or a museum. School officials estimate they could charge the public $35 to $65 an hour to rent the space for community use.


The La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District board decided June 21 to take no action on the buildings. (Source: Half Moon Bay Review, July 11.)

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