The Chino Valley school board voted last week to delay an agreement that would allow district personnel to do soils testing on property designated for a second school in the Chino Preserve area.
Developer Lewis Management Corporation owns the 12-acre property located south of Pine Avenue, on the east side of Main Street.
It had formerly been used for agriculture and dairy and has been vacant and undeveloped since 2009. The delayed agreement gives the school district and its consultants access to the property and preliminary construction testing and inspections which are required by the California Department of Education and Division of State Architect. Chino Valley school district director of facilities Greg Stachura was absent from the Nov. 19 meeting.
In a Nov. 17 email to the Champion, he said the new agreement is only a change of dates and that the soil testing should be completed within the new timeframe.
A previous agreement for the same purpose from September 2019 had expired.Superintendent Norm Enfield said the district had been uable to test last year because top soil on the property needed to be removed. "From my understanding, it was finally removed last week," he said.
Mr. Stachura told the Champion that another hold up was language included in the purchase agreement by the property owner.
“The District will not purchase the property until Lewis removes the re-purchase language from their contract and we know that the California Department of Education (CDE) will approve the property as a school site. The site cannot be submitted to CDE by our consultant until they finish their work to determine that the site is free of toxins, hazards, etc.”
School board president Joe Schaffer, speaking at the Nov. 19 meeting, voiced a concern about the company name, North Mountain Corporation on the signature line of the access agreement.
He said the name did not appear anywhere else in the Lewis contract.
The document was signed by Bryan Goodman, representing the North Mountain Corporation (a California Corporation) as sole manager.
Superintendent Norm Enfield said he recognized Mr. Goodman’s name in connection with the Lewis Corporation, but not the company name. Mr. Schaffer motioned to delay the vote until more information about the company was received.
Randall Lewis, a principal with the Lewis Corp., said on Tuesday, the business name was accurate and the agreement delay was “a minor technicality.”
“We hope to continue to make progress with the district to build the school,” he said. The company is listed as an active registry on California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s website (sos.ca.gov) with Lewis Management Corp. as registered agent.
The district set aside $20 million for the school in 2016 after Chino Valley voters approved the $750 million Measure G facilities bond.
School board and district officials have stated publicly that the money is still set aside for the project.