Big Bear City, CA, August 26, 2014 — (Written by Cathy Herrick) The Bear Valley Unified School District (BVUSD ) held a Board Workshop meeting last week.  Discussion included an overview of the district’s facilities in terms of maintenance and operations.  The Board is exploring options in moving the District forward in light of 17 years of declining enrollment and the plight of aging facilities.  At the Workshop meeting, Superintendent Kurt Madden explored the breakdown of each facility citing age, square footage, acreage, classroom usage, number of students currently in attendance, the Facility Inspection Tool Score, capital improvements already made and the cost of long term improvements needed.  School principals each addressed their top three concerns with improved security and safety measures making everyone’s list in addition to an increased area for outdoor shade for students, curb appeal improvements, and storage.  Discussion led to the possible closure of a school, most notably, Big Bear Elementary School given the 73-year-old age of the facility and the $15 million dollar price tag for long term improvements.  However, BVUSD will face many challenges in potentially closing a school given the State of California’s laws on the process.  Entities given first priority for surplus property include a Charter School, Affordable Housing and Park and Rec organizations.  The Board will need to determine what the best educational goals and programs are for our community.  At the Workshop, the Board decided that discussion was needed with each of the school’s principals to gather their input for the Board to discuss at a future meeting.  The next steps would include the formation of a 7-11 committee, made up of community and school members, whose function would be to advise the Board on the reuse, repurposing and disposition of a school building not needed for school purposes.  Additionally, public hearings for the community will be established to further gain information on the subject.