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Jeanette Todd||

A million-dollar promise made to Corcoran in 2009 was finally realized last week, when College of the Sequoias President Stan Carrizosa presented the local school district with a check. The money came as a result of a 2008 COS bond to cover the construction of a new college center in Tulare.

t the time, the controversial measure attempted to gain support from Corcoran and Lindsay, both thrown into the bond boundary, along with Tulare. Both communities signed memorandums of understanding with COS to receive approximately $1 million each for appropriate projects tied to higher education.


Corcoran Unified School District signed its memorandum of understanding with COS initially in 2009, but did not identify any specific projects at that time. Then bad things started to happen.


The great recession resulted in lowering of property values throughout the Central Valley, and the initial expectation of $60 million to be raised from the bond sales had to be lowered. In fact, according to Carrizosa, the college actually had to borrow money to complete parts of the Tulare construction.


Lindsay got its money early, but it appeared Corcoran would have to wait.


When he came on board in 2012, Carrizosa made the payment to Corcoran a priority. Earlier in his career, Carrizosa was principal at Corcoran High School and an assistant superintendent, before moving to Visalia to become superintendent.


He told the gathered crowd Tuesday, March 17, that the original intent of the bond was to strengthen the partnership between Corcoran and COS.

“We pledged that $1 million should come to Corcoran and now I am pleased to keep that million-dollar promise,” he said.


The MOU between the two schools calls for investment in high school facilities and allowing more access to local students for COS classes.


Lori Cardoza, who represents Corcoran on the COS board, said this past year has been a good one for COS and a good one for her district.


“I would like to thank the community of Corcoran for its patience and for working with us,” noted Cardoza, who has diligently addressed the local issue.


Rich Merlo, Corcoran Unified superintendent, said Carrizosa has been a great partner to work with and has been faithful to Corcoran.


“This is the fruit of a relationship we have had since 2009 and COS has shown the same vision as our district and board,” he stated.


Robert Alcorn said he was grateful the district could maintain the partnership it has had since well before 2009. He noted that he attended COS in 1968 as a pre-pharmacy major.


“This gives us the opportunity to provide for our students and let them know that if they work hard and study, these opportunities exist,” said Alcorn.



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