Given legislative amendments enacted after the Board’s December 14, 2017, surplus declaration, the Administration recommended that the Board re-declare the property surplus and expressly identify the former Redwood Valley Elementary School as exempt surplus land. Resolution 6, 2022-23 directs Administration to comply with legal requirements to offer the property for sale or lease to certain public agencies, such as city and county parks and recreation entities, as well as to additional public agencies, such as the Department of General Services, California universities, and the city and county in which the surplus property is located.
If none of the identified public agencies notify the District of their interest in negotiating a sale or lease within the statutorily-established period of time, the Board may consider and take action to pass a Resolution of Intent to Sell or Lease the Property through a competitive proposal process.
The process Ukiah Unified School District has undertaken to decide what to do with the property has been extensive. This process started fourteen years ago when Ukiah Unified Trustees convened a 7-11 Committee in 2008 to review several under-utilized properties.
The purpose of a 7-11 Committee is to advise a governing board, based on community input, regarding the use or disposition of school buildings, space, or property that is not needed for school purposes. The committee members included teachers, neighbors, and City and County officials. The committees analyzed the property's best and highest use and considered many variables that would preclude reopening the Redwood Valley property as a school. These factors included current and future attendance projections for this area, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance due to topography, etc.
Their Final Report, dated June 23, 2009, recommended closing the Redwood Valley site. A second 7-11 Committee again met multiple times in 2017, resulting in a final recommendation to the Ukiah Unified Trustees to declare the former Redwood Valley School site as surplus property. On December 14, 2017, Ukiah Unified Trustees formally declared the property surplus.
Since then, there have been multiple meetings with community groups over thirteen years, civil engineering studies, research, and discussions about property values with local brokers and appraisers. The District’s real estate advisors met with the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council on two occasions to receive public input. Staff and consultants from the District met with officials from the County of Mendocino, and they discussed options and property values with developers and hired environmental consultants.
A special Board meeting of the Ukiah Unified School District Board of Trustees was held on April 1, 2020, via video conference to discuss properties, including the Redwood Valley site. During the meeting, Scott Sheldon of Terra Realty Advisors, Inc. provided the Trustees with a status update on the project. Terra Realty has been assisting the District in evaluating options for the former school site.
At the April 2020 meeting, Trustees reviewed extensive research on the property and discussed potential options, including a property exchange. They also heard input from over a dozen community members. Terra Realty recommended that the best choice was to market the properties for exchange with another property for District use. This recommendation ultimately led to the signing of an exchange agreement with GMB Realty on September 9th, 2021. In June 2022, the due diligence period under the exchange agreement expired, and GMB Realty chose not to pursue the transaction further under the terms of the agreement.
“The Trustees have been trying to determine what’s best for the Redwood Valley property since 2008. We don’t like the property's condition, and we don’t want the property to be vacant and a problem for the community and the District,” said Ukiah Unified Trustee president Zoey Fernandez. “It is for this reason that the Board is pursuing the sale of the former Redwood Valley Elementary School property.”