I submitted a letter to the editor that addresses our decision to entertain offers for our Garberville site. The letter also explains the surplus/sale process as outlined in Education and Government Code. There's a lot of energy swirlling around about the site and I hope that the below letter demonstrates openness, transparency, and commitment to the community.
Dear Southern Humboldt Community Members,
I want to take this opportunity to speak to College of Redwoods’ (CR) decision to entertain the possibility of selling our Garberville Instructional Site. We were approached by the Healthcare District with an offer to purchase CR’s Garberville Instructional Site property in order to construct a hospital. We were not looking at selling the site; however we saw the potential sale of the property as a benefit to both districts: the elimination of the on-going operational budget deficit, while making available to the Healthcare District real property that can be used for medical services, including a new hospital.
Even with those benefits, the decision to entertain the Healthcare District’s offer was not made in haste or nonchalantly. In accepting the tentative offer, we wanted to acknowledge the need for an accessible new hospital for the Garberville community. We did not want to signal a lack of commitment to the educational needs of the community. CR’s Board of Trustees and administration have publically stated that the College remains committed to offering educational opportunities to the community—whether we own the Garberville Instructional Site or not.
On June 6, the Board of Trustees directed me to engage an appraiser to determine a fair market value of the site.They also charged me with soliciting purchase offers from the public agencies and non-profits specified by Education Code § 81363.5 and Government Code § 54220-54226 including the State Director of General Services, the University of California Regents, the Trustees for the California State University, the County of Humboldt, all public housing authorities in the county, and any local park and recreation district.
I will place a public notice in newspapers of general circulation within the college’s service area soliciting offers from any other public agency, any public district, and any non-profit agency eligible to purchase the site. If there is a positive response to any of these solicitations within 60 days after the last published notice, the Board of Trustees will decide whether or not we should engage in negotiations with the other agency or agencies to determine if the parties can reach a mutually satisfactory price. If the Board does wish to sell to another public agency, the Board may act by majority vote of the entire membership.It is important to note that the Board may suspend the process and withdraw the property from a potential sale at any time and that we will comply with provisions articulated by the Southern Humboldt Unified School District during the term of the Option Agreement.
The Southern Humboldt area is changing and the educational needs of the community may also change. Trustee Sally Biggin, your representative on the CR Board of Trustees, and I will work with the community over the coming months to bring into clearer focus how we can support the educational needs of the community.