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Napa Valley College board proposes minor changes to St. Helena campus lease

Napa Valley College board proposes minor changes to St. Helena campus lease

Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus

The entrance to the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus in St. Helena.

The Napa Valley College Board of Trustees voted June 10 to endorse a lease of its Upper Valley Campus to the City of St. Helena, with some minor changes that will require City Council approval.

Trustees approved the basic framework of the lease, which allows the city to use part of the campus as a City Hall and police station for a term of five years, with an additional two-year option available if the city chooses to exercise it. The monthly rent will be $2 per square foot for approximately 8,000 square feet, provided the city sweeps the parking lot regularly.

The college will retain exclusive use of the Culinary Arts Building and priority use of Fine Arts Rooms 8A and 8B, which the city could occasionally rent for an additional fee.

Trustees made a few changes to the version of the lease that was authorized by the City Council on May 25. First, they want to fill in some blanks in the lease agreement, mostly involving the exact square footage the city will occupy.

Second, trustees want more details about what will happen when the city vacates the space at the end of the lease, including who will be responsible for the removal of improvements and the cost of repairs necessary to make the space suitable for academic use.

The council will consider the amended lease at a future meeting.

College President Ron Kraft said the lease will generate revenue for upkeep of the underutilized campus while the college develops new programs.

In authorizing the initial version of the lease, the council hailed it as a win-win partnership that will give city staff a desirable place to work after being forced out of the old City Hall by smoke damage.

Moving to the college will also open up the city’s options at the current interim City Hall on Railroad Avenue and at the police station on Main Street.

Napa Valley College Director of Vocal Studies Dr. Christina Howell has come up with an innovative way for her Chorale students to keep singing during the pandemic.

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You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or

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