The complex discussions involve the district's Oak Street transportation yard (commonly known as the bus barn) and tennis courts at Liberty High School, which currently occupy land where the city wants to build a new city hall. A draft agreement for the city to purchase the land and help relocate the existing facilities hit a snag last month over other projects the two agencies are working on together, including the new and current locations of La Paloma High School and the swimming pool at Liberty.
Representatives of the two parties met last week. LUHSD board President Holly Hartman said that during the meeting the city included in the formerly stand-alone bus barn negotiations a proposal for relocating the swimming pool. The pool occupies land on which the city wants to build a new community center, which is also part of the Civic Center plan.
The city also offered to provide financing for an access road to the new La Paloma site on Guthrie Lane, Hartman said.
City Councilman Chris Becnel confirmed that the pool and the road had become part of the negotiations on the bus barn, but declined to give further details.
"We would like to see an agreement for the betterment of the entire community," Becnel said. "But we really do have a time line."
Recently, the city hired an architect to begin detailed work on the Civic Center. Becnel said the hiring opened a 30-day window during which an agreement to purchase the bus barn and the pool would need to be reached. If agreement can't be reached by then, he said, the city would go to an "equally acceptable Plan B," that is, building a reconfigured Civic Center without either of the school district properties.
"We need the Civic Center process to move forward," Becnel said. "The city can't afford to wait. We've been working on (buying the bus barn) since Barbara Guise was on the council."
Guise served on the council from 1974 to 1998.
The LUHSD board has met several times in closed session since the dispute surfaced. District Superintendent Dan Smith declined to give details.