City officials met on Monday in closed session to discuss the school board’s decision to break a lease with the City for use of the Jefferson Elementary School campus. The Board voted 4-3, on Feb. 1 to end its lease allowing some City staff to be located at Jefferson Elementary School. The lease was scheduled to end in 2027. The Jefferson campus is located at 1500 E. Villa Street.
Students from Longfellow Elementary will be relocated to Jefferson Elementary School so that the district can break ground on improvements at Longfellow in 2025. The original plan was to relocate students to Allendale.
“The City of Pasadena recently learned that the Pasadena Unified School District will be asking the City to end its activities and to vacate Jefferson Elementary School for the 2025-2026 school year, prior to what had been agreed upon as the termination date in 2027 for the City’s use of this once vacant property,” said Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian.
The City had earlier expressed gratitude for the long-term lease of the unused and closed school property.
The City relocated to Jefferson Elementary in 2021 during the pandemic due to the closure of the Central Library and a need to relocate City staff and services.
“The City and the School District must work collaboratively to plan a best way forward that benefits both entities,” said School Board President Michelle Richardson Bailey.
According to the statement, Jefferson Elementary was chosen for this purpose and has been vital and very beneficial for the community. Jefferson Elementary houses a Fire Training Center that is crucial in keeping our city safe and provides ideal space for personnel to train. The Police Activities League found a home at Jefferson Elementary to enhance their programs, mentoring and coaching youth in our community, many who attend Pasadena Unified School District schools.
Pickleball courts were added at City expense to help address the great demand for this recreational activity.
It is not known where the services will be relocated to. “The City has made a substantial investment of time and money in the property to address deferred maintenance and to allow it to be safely occupied for a variety of critical uses, including the following City programs: Critical Library Services, a Fire Training Center, the Police Activities League, and Pickleball, with plans for the Pasadena Health Department to establish a satellite office,” Derderian said.
The City has invested significant resources into operations at Jefferson Elementary in anticipation of its longer use and will work with Pasadena Unified School District to explore all options going forward.