June 24, 2017
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Leasing school annex idea may be abandoned-1969

By: Irene Hilsendager
May 26, 2017

Cotati School District trustees learned last week that a proposal for leasing the complex of buildings near the Rohnert Park shopping center is apparently not feasible.

Trustees had suggested that leasing the former Sonoma State College buildings might solve the district’s problem with overcrowded classrooms and that excess space might be rented to other districts.

However, Superintendent Duncan Coleman said he had found no other districts interested in using the space, largely because of the expense of transporting students.

Richard Lyman, principal of Waldo Rohnert School which now has five classes in leased rooms in the complex, said teachers there are unhappy with their quarters and might not agree to teach there again next year. He indicated that moving more classes there would be equally unpopular.

Trustees tabled the proposal, but commented that double sessions might be the only solution if building an addition to Waldo Rohnert continues to be delayed by shortage of state funds.

Trustees signed the notice of completion of work by Don Dowd Co. at Thomas Page School and the  architect, Fred Schachtman, promised that his company would take care of the last unfinished items at the school; the bell board and the furnace pilot lights.

A building committee meeting was set for 8 p.m. December 16 to continue discussion of the Thomas Page project. Assistant Superintendent James Davidson remarked that the new school had required too many expenditures out of the general fund to begin operation, citing such items as chemicals for the septic system, extra parking area and a $1,200 carpet cleaning machine.

Trustee Maurice Fredericks reported that he had contacted the only family living in the area of Rohnert Park proposed for a transfer from Santa Rosa School District to the Petaluma  High School and Cotati Elementary Districts. The district will prepare a petition which is the first step in a lengthy process of effecting the district boundary line change.

Davidson said that Lesly Meyer, superintendent of the Petaluma District, had suggested that Cotati District’s eastern boundary might also be changed to bring the Sonoma Mountain area into the local district. Trustees agreed the idea had some merit, but felt they should first concentrate on getting all of Rohnert Park into the same school district.

Irene Hilsendager’s column each week touches on moments in the history of Cotati, Rohnert Park and Penngrove.