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Innovative funding could pave way for Lodi Unified School District’s ‘green’ academy

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Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:39 am, Wed Aug 17, 2011.

Lodi Unified School District is banking on innovative funding to pay for a new school in the North Stockton area.

If approved, the district's new Green Tech Academy High School would provide college and career preparatory learning while focusing on sustainable environmental practices.

"It would stimulate while engaging students ... to solve problems, to collaborate and prepare them to enter the workplace," Bill Atterberry, one of the key planners, said at a board study session on Tuesday.

The proposed facility itself will be an active part of the educational process. For example, an on-site water treatment plant will be used as a teaching tool, as will solar panels installed in parking areas.

There would also be an agricultural component where students can grow food, have it prepared in the school kitchen and enjoy the fruits of their labor in an outdoor dining area.

"You're eating curriculum, and students will be able to see that right outside their classrooms," said Lodi High vice principal Jeff Palmquist, who has been working with staff on the school's concept.

The district's goal is to design a school today that will prepare students for tomorrow's world, according to the staff report.

"This is an exciting, exciting adventure that Lodi could be embarking on," said board president George Neely, who has also been part of the school's planning team. "I want to be its biggest cheerleader."

If the board votes to move forward with construction, the $37 million facility would be paid for with federal grants, state building funds, private partnerships and other sources. The remaining funding could come from Measure L, the school bond approved by North Stockton voters last decade, according to Neely.

The school could open in fall 2014.

The site, just off Lower Sacramento Road between McNair and Bear Creek high schools, was purchased four years ago.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:28 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Roy, I like the way you phrased your concerns... I will remember it for future conversations... Thank you!

  • roy bitz posted at 9:34 pm on Wed, Aug 17, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 489

    I personally would not enter into a contract tied to --- "innovative funding" ---for fear of unforeseen consequences.
    However---I would not hesitate to enter into such a contract if I had no "skin in the game" such as is the case here.
    There are no consequences for elected officals who enter into questionable financial matters---this is a major problem and why hammers can cost $2000 a copy.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:29 am on Wed, Aug 17, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    That's "innovative" funding for you, the newest LUSD scam in a school district that can't even fix the mess they are in now. It's time for Washer to go.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:02 am on Wed, Aug 17, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    So as long as funding is from tax payers, money is no object... No discussion on how to reduce cost. 37 million? sounds very expensive to me.Especially if the land has already been [paid for. If one hammer costs 2000 dollars, that is ok as long as the "tax payer" pays for it.



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