Upkeep costs could hinder school’s move

A scuffle over maintenance fees could prevent Summit Preparatory Charter School from making its home in the campus once designed for High Tech High Bayshore — a move slated to happen this month.

The Sequoia High School District adopted Summit’s charter in 2006 and is required under state law to find the school a permanent campus. Summit has operated out of leased portables on the Sequoia High School campus since the fall of 2006 but was scheduled to move to Bayshore’s former home at 890 Broadway this fall.

District board members approved the facility agreement June 26 that allows Summit to move into the new building, but Summit’s board vetoed the deal in July because it asked Summit to pay $94,000 per year for its share of building-maintenance fees, according to Summit Director Diane Tavenner. That’s higher than the $72,000 Summit pays now — but the new building is bigger, according to Sequoia District Superintendent Patrick Gemma.

The money would pay for wear and tear and repairs.

“We’re using the same calculation, but the new facility has another 7,000 or 8,000 square feet,” Gemma said.

Summit disagrees that the formula Sequoia is using is the one sanctioned by California’s charter-school laws, according to Tavenner.

The Sequoia Board will meet Wednesday to discuss a newly proposed maintenance fee negotiated by attorneys on both sides. However, if Sequoia denies the new fee, Summit could be forced to remain in its temporary digs.

“I’m not aware of any facility option they could provide, beyond the site we’re in,” Tavenner said.

The Sequoia District has purchased two properties in the last 12 months, including the 890 Broadway campus and the Redwood Baptist Church property at 435 Fifth Ave. However, the church site was deemed unsuitable for a school, Tavenner said.

The Sequoia High School District Board meets Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at 480 James Ave., Redwood City.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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