Clovis Unified School District is facing somewhat of a dilemma — the district is moving forward with plans to build and open a new educational center in the southeast portion of the district but is still trying to figure out how to get sewer services connected to the site.
The Terry Bradley Educational Center is located between Highland and Leonard avenues north of McKinley Avenue. The site is now in unincorporated Fresno County but is within the city of Fresno’s sphere of influence, which means that at some point the site will be annexed into the city’s limits.
That annexation would allow the Terry Bradley center to hook up to city of Fresno water and sewer utilities once those lines can be built, which at this point could be by 2028, said Denver Stairs, the district’s assistant superintendent for facilities.
Clovis Unified officials said in February that even though the city of Fresno has slowed its development plans in that area, the district was moving forward with building the Terry Bradley center to alleviate classroom overcrowding in the eastern part of the district.
The center is slated to open in August 2025 to students in grades seven through nine and then would add grade levels in the high school in subsequent years.
‘Package Plant’ Option Expensive
In lieu of a connection to city of Fresno utilities, the district was considering other options that included connecting with the city of Clovis sewer system or drawing water from on-site wells and building a wastewater treatment “package plant” nearby.
The cost of the package plant’s construction is estimated at $25 million.
The Clovis City Council will consider at tonight’s meeting a request from the school district to temporarily provide sewer services to the Terry Bradley center.
“We are exploring all of our options and looking for the most efficient, cost-effective way to build this needed educational center,” district spokeswoman Kelly Avants told GV Wire in an email Monday. “If the cities of Clovis and Fresno agree (since the property is in the sphere of influence for the city of Fresno), temporarily using the closer connection points of the City of Clovis could be the most cost-effective solution, but it would take multiple agencies agreeing to the solution.”
Denver Stairs, the district’s assistant superintendent for facilities, said the city of Clovis connection would be the district’s top option because Clovis Unified wouldn’t be saddled with the cost of building and operating the package plant.
Stairs said he wasn’t certain how much the sewer connection line would cost the district, but it would be considerably less than the cost of the package plant.
Planning Commission Rejects District’s Wastewater Plant Proposal
The Fresno County Planning Commission turned back the school district’s plan to turn 15 acres zoned for agriculture into the site of a wastewater treatment plant for the Bradley center.
The district’s proposal failed on a 3-3 vote during the commission’s March 23 meeting.
Commissioners John Arabian, Ken Abrahamian, and Kuldip Chatha opposed the item while commissioners Glenda Hill, Blake Zante, and Esther Carver backed it.
“Not all schools have wastewater management or solar. They have the school set already established, and they want to take prime ag land,” Abrahamian said. “I have trouble making the finding of consistency, so I won’t be supporting the motion.”
(Disclosure: Granville Homes has an interest in the matter as future owners of property across from the education complex. Granville Homes President and CEO Darius Assemi is the publisher of GV Wire.)