Future of Pinecrest school eyed

Brenna Swift, The Union Democrat

PUBLIC MEETING: Twain Harte-Long Barn Union School District Board of Education, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, District Office, 18995 Twain Harte Drive, Twain Harte.

The Twain Harte-Long Barn Union School District Board of Education on Wednesday will discuss selling or leasing the former Pinecrest School building to Mountain Oaks School.

The discussion will also include the vacant Black Oak School, closed about six years ago due to declining enrollment.

Twain Harte-Long Barn Union School District Superintendent John Keiter said the board won't make a decision on the buildings Wednesday, instead mulling over a Jan. 10 report from an independent citizens' advisory committee.

The report recommended the Twain Harte-Long Barn Board of Education enter negotiations with Calaveras County-based Mountain Oaks for the Pinecrest building, as long as the proposed arrangement doesn't impact Twain Harte-Long Barn's finances.

The board voted unanimously to close Pinecrest School last spring for cost-saving reasons. Most of the students now attend an outpost of the Mountain Oaks School down the street from the former Pinecrest School.

Mountain Oaks asked to use the now-vacant Pinecrest School building, with community members voicing strong support for the idea at a December public hearing.

The advisory committee's Jan. 10 report noted that the California Office of Public School Construction couldn't determine the original value of the Pinecrest School, a fact that could prove "problematic" for Twain Harte-Long Barn.

The advisory committee recommended that the former Black Oak building be sold or leased and brainstormed a list of possibilities, including its use as a senior center or hotel.

Wednesday's board meeting will also include a financial audit report for Twain Harte-Long Barn Union School District.

The Union Democrat
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