Cardiff School board approves loan to cover funds lost in lawsuit

Construction continues on the new Cardiff School, which was delayed for three months.

The Cardiff School District board voted unanimously to authorize securing a $2.6 million long-term, low-interest loan to help close a funding gap on the Cardiff School construction project brought on by litigation and related delays, according to a district news release. The lawsuit also impacted the scope and timeline of the rebuild—an additional classroom building will now need to be tabled and the timeline for project completion has been extended by three months, the district news release stated.

According to the district news release, the loan is necessary due to the financial impact of over $4 million caused by threatened and subsequent litigation initiated by a group of neighbors over allegations of an inadequate Environmental Impact Report and taxpayer waste. The 25-year loan approved by the board has a fixed annual interest rate of 3.15% and an annual repayment amount of $159,000.

The district said in the news release that the loan amount only partially helps to replace dollars that the district had set aside to contribute to the project in addition to the $22 million Measure GG bond passed by 65.9% of Cardiff voters in 2016 to rebuild the school.

“We are happy to finally be on the other side of this time-consuming and costly lawsuit, and to see the project moving forward according to the student-focused design that was developed with stakeholder input and finalized over two years ago,” said Jill Vinson, Cardiff School District superintendent in the news release. --Karen Billing