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Orange County Register (California)
The shuttered Riverdale Elementary site is being eyed by Anaheim city officials as a potential park that would likely be used by youth sports leagues across the city.
The City Council last week agreed to launch negotiations with Orange Unified School District, which is asking at least $15.9 million for the 11.5-acre swath of land in Anaheim Hills. Money from the property sales will go toward school improvements in the district, which includes Anaheim, Orange and Garden Grove.
"I understand the school district's need for revenue to make improvements ... but there's also a need for the community to have park land and maybe that balance can be found," Mayor Tom Tait said.
City officials said it was too soon to determine the costs. Officials also declined to say whether Anaheim is willing to meet the district's asking price, but noted that the city may also consider purchasing only a portion of the property.
However, much of the space is "turnkey ready," said Terry Lowe, Anaheim's community services director.
"We need more soccer and softball fields for youth sports, so this would be a good step in helping to fulfill that demand," Lowe said. "We don't want an opportunity like this to pass by without giving it a good look."
Joe Sorrera, the school district's assistant superintendent of business services, did not return calls for comment.
Riverdale Elementary closed in June 2010 as part of Orange Unified's effort to trim the district's budget. District officials decided earlier this year to put it up for sale.
Killefer Elementary, which was closed for more than 20 years, was sold last month for $5.1 million to The Olson Co., which plans to build 30 townhomes on the Orange site. District officials decided last year to sell Silverado Elementary.