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San Diego Unified To Consider Selling Two School Properties

The elementary school campus where the infamous "I Don't Like Mondays" shootings took place 36 years ago is one of two properties that could be sold under a plan to be considered Monday by the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education.

The almost 9-acre Cleveland Elementary School, at 6365 Lake Atlin Ave. in San Carlos, received no interest by any public agencies and would be advertised for sale if the board approves the plan. The state Education Code requires school districts that want to unload property to seek out any interest from other government agencies as a first step.

On Jan. 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opened fire on the campus with a .22-caliber rifle from a window at her family's house across the street, killing principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Suchar. Eight students and a police officer were wounded. Spencer later said she didn't like Mondays. Frequently referred to as the first school mass-shooter, she is imprisoned and not eligible for another parole hearing until 2019.


The campus is now occupied by the Magnolia Science Academy charter school.

According to SDUSD data, the district spends an average of nearly $116,000 annually to maintain the campus, and receives about $61,000 a year from Magnolia. The district estimates it could gain $5.8 million in revenue from a sale, minus costs for the transaction.

The other campus, the former Benchley Elementary, is located at 7202 Princess View Drive in the nearby Navajo neighborhood. The nearly 4.3-acre property could generate $2 million in revenue, minus transaction expenses, according to the district. The campus is leased to Excelsior Academy. The district says it receives more than $85,700 in annual fees from the charter school, while the property costs roughly $32,000 a year to maintain.

District officials said both Magnolia and Excelsior have multi-year agreements to lease their campuses and are being kept apprised of the sale plans.