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        Power of Partnerships

                         f necessity if the mother of invention, then the critical needs of the Santa Clarita Valley collectively warranted some
                         seriously inventive solutions.
                      I   The Hart District Governing Board acted responsibly and developed a concept for a public-private partnership, giving
                       formation to the Santa Clarita Valley Facilities Foundation. As a non-profit public benefit corporation founded to provide
                       assistance to the William S. Hart Union High School District in locating, acquiring and developing new school sites, its Board of
                       Directors serve on a volunteer basis, without pay or compensation for services.
                               “The Hart District’s need for a viable high school site coincided with the City’s need to develop Golden Valley Road,”
                       explained Robert Newman, Director of Public Works for the City of Santa Clarita. “The school district had to move 10 million
                       cubic yards of dirt for the school site, and the City needed fill dirt to build a portion of the Cross-Valley Connector. By working
                       together, each agency cut their costs in half.”
                               The Golden Valley concept did more than add value. It offered flexibility to a school district willing to look at creative
                       ways to acquire new sites. The common process for building new schools is to find a developer willing to trade a school site
                       for mitigation credits. “We do that,” explained Mike Otavka, Hart District Director of Facilities, “but we pay market value for the
                       property and the profit benefits the seller, not the buyer.”
                               Private land developers are not anxious to give up prime real estate. By working with the Facilities Foundation in the
                       place of a developer, the school district was able to choose the location most advantageous for a new school, and retain the
                       profits generated to be used and reinvested for school purposes.
                               The partnership was not without challenges. The project dealt with multiple property owners, the need to put together a
                       comprehensive financial package, effective coordination of a massive grading operation, and perhaps the most challenging of
                       all – communication between engineers, planners and decision makers from all the partners.
                               In the end, the project that was envisioned as an 18-month effort became a 4-year endeavor. “It was a euphoric feeling that
                       all the pieces came together,” Santa Clarita Valley Facilities Foundation President Richard A. Patterson said. “Bob Lee saw the raw
                       land and had the confidence that we could do this and make a profit for the benefit of local schools. Former City Manager George
                       Caravalho and City engineers were instrumental in promoting an atmosphere of good faith amongst the stakeholders. In the end,
                       it was the common vision of all the partners in this joint venture that made the Golden Valley project a success.”

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