Richmond charter school told to find different site for new campus

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Back in May, a charter school in Richmond was facing opposition from some parents who don't want them to build a new school. More than three months have passed and the issue is as contentious as ever. (KGO-TV)

Back in May, a charter school in Richmond was facing opposition from some parents who don't want them to build a new school.

More than three months have passed and the issue was as contentious as ever. Now the district has told Caliber Beta Charter School to look for another site.


Adams Middle School has been closed for seven years. The West Contra Costa County School District has no plans to rebuild or retrofit the school - it has no money to take on such an expensive project.

So instead, they offered it to a charter school that's desperate for more space.

RELATED: Richmond charter school facing opposition over wanting to build new campus

Back in May, ABC7 News was told, "It was built for 430 students. Today we have 585 and next year we'll have 800 students here."

By law, the district has to provide Caliber Beta School an adequate facility. So the district thought it had a deal when Caliber offered to pay for the entire cost to rebuild and retrofit the school - an estimated $15 million - if Caliber could buy the land for $60,000.

Here were the conditions of the sale. "It's not going to be condos, it's not going to be houses, it's not going to be apartment complexes. This is for a school," parent and teacher Ofelia Alonso said.

Still, the proposed transaction infuriated a number of parents and city officials.

"We're selling it at below market rate, we're actually doing the tax payers a disservice by selling property at below that market rate," Richmond Vice Mayor Eduardo Martinez said.

Since May, Caliber upped the ante, offering to build the facility using strict school construction codes and hire the Carpenters Union to do some of the work.

Union members came out to support the school on Wednesday night.

Caliber had said if they ever go under, the property will go back to the district, which will then have to assume what's left on the loan for the renovations.

However, these latest conditions were not enough to convince the board to finally approve the project. They say Adams Middle School is not an option.
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