Members set to vote tonight on how to divide $15.8 million between projects at three high schools, including two stadiums and a pool.


Plans for a lengthy evaluation process to determine the fairest way to dish out $15.8 million to three schools may be scuttled as Newport-Mesa Unified School District board members appear poised to agree on how to divide the funds.

The board voted earlier this month to gather an equity committee to decide how to spend the money. School District Superintendant Frederick Navarro reached out to board members to see if they might be amenable to a quicker solution.

Projects discussed in the proposal

>> Costa Mesa Stadium Cost: $7.5 million to $11.5 million

>> Corona del Mar Stadium Cost: $6.5 million to $12.5 million

>> Estancia pool Cost: $1 million

>> Estancia Performing Arts CenterCost: $27 million


Source: Office of Deputy Superintendent Paul Reed

Now the board is prepared to vote tonight on a proposal that would give Estancia High $1 million to build a competition pool for its aquatics programs, something all the other high schools in the district already possess. Should it pass, the remainder of the money would be divided between Corona del Mar High and Costa Mesa High for proposed stadium projects.

The one-time money came from the city’s shuttered redevelopment agency.

According to estimates presented by Deputy Superintendent Paul Reed, the CdM stadium could cost anywhere from $6.5 million to $12.5 million, while the Cost Mesa High stadium ranges from $7.5 million to $11.5 million, depending on the amenities included.

Board member Martha Fluor said she’s comfortable with the proposal the board will vote on.

“I think it’s a reasonable and prudent approach. The issue becomes serving all of our students, not just students in certain high schools,” said Fluor.

“It’s going to take a while to get through these projects, and some board members wanted to make sure we didn’t get bogged down in the minutiae.”

The board had discussed helping to fund a $27 million theater project at Estancia, but Fluor said the project will be covered by Measure F, a $282 million bond initiative approved by voters in 2005.

Board member Katrina Foley, who has been a staunch advocate for the stadium projects, said she’s hoping they can move on from here.

“As someone who has been working on this project for more than six years, I’m hoping we can come to a decision,” she said.

Foley said Costa Mesa has offered $3 million toward the Costa Mesa High stadium project, under the stipulation that the city would have rights to use the field.

“I’m open to the joint partnership if we’re able to build a first-class facility that will endure into the future,” Foley said.