CJUSD reaches $44.5 million agreement with developer to relocate Zimmerman Elementary

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Should the agreement go as planned, Zimmerman will remain in operation at its current site until the new school is complete in order to avoid disruption of its learning environment.

A developer named Howard Industrial Partners and Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD) reached a $44.5 million agreement to relocate Zimmerman Elementary School after the proposed warehouse project was planned to border the south and west of campus. 

“The agreement between the district and developer to protect students and staff from harsh environmental impacts was achieved on June 30th. But, the agreement’s main provisions will only go into effect if the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approves the Bloomington Business Park project,” said CJUSD Communications Director Katie Orloff.

According to project documents, the Bloomington Business Park Project is slated to include over two million square feet of warehouse space. 

“Howard’s planned Bloomington Business Park Specific Plan would have the biggest impact yet on a District school. The project nearly surrounds Zimmerman Elementary School on two sides. While the District has no power to stop the project, it acted immediately to put its concerns on record regarding air quality, noise, traffic hazards, and other impacts by submitting three detailed comment letters to the County,” continued Orloff. 

Should the agreement go as planned and the County’s Board of Supervisors approves the Bloomington Business Park Project, the new site of Zimmerman would be located at the southwest corner of Larch Avenue and Santa Ana Avenue. 

“Under the terms of the agreement, the District will exchange the Zimmerman site with Howard for property adjacent to some of the District’s existing offices on Hermosa Avenue. In addition to the Hermosa property, the District will receive payments totaling $44.5 million. The agreement is among the largest on record related to project impacts on a school. By comparison, protracted litigation involving a similar project adjacent to Jurupa Hills High School resulted in a mitigation of payment of approximately $200,000,” Orloff said. 

Should Zimmerman Elementary School be relocated, it would be the first new school built in Bloomington in 50 years. It would feature state-of-the-art technology, advanced learning spaces and equipment, air filtration and soundproofing measures, and up‐to‐date security features. 

“Our priority is protecting our students and staff to the greatest extent possible from the environmental impacts that come from warehouse developments. And while this item has not been agendized on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors forthcoming meetings, the district wants to be proactive in sharing the news of our milestone agreement with the developer,” concluded Orloff. 

According to a CJUSD press release, the new school’s design, planning, and construction are expected to take three to four years.