La Cañada (Calif.) School District May Sell Naming Rights

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, October 28, 2011

UCLA has its Pauley Pavilion, and USC boasts the Keck School of Medicine. Now, La Cañada Unified School District buildings and athletic venues may also bear the names of their most generous patrons as school officials get creative with fundraising.

The district last week released a list of dozens of school facilities and programs, the names of which could be sold to donors as part of a new revenue-generating effort, the La Cañada Valley Sun reported.

If approved -- the school board could vote on the plan as early as next month -- it would place La Cañada Unified among a small but growing contingent of public school districts hawking naming rights in order to suture bleeding budgets. Beverly Hills and Palos Verdes school districts already have naming policies in place, and San Marino may consider something similar in the coming year.

Some of the priciest options include the La Cañada High School football stadium and library for $1 million each, elementary school playgrounds for $750,000, and cafeterias for $500,000. Naming rights for individual classrooms are listed for $100,000 a piece. Auditorium chairs and computer stations would be available for $2,500 each.

The donations would not fund capital projects, but instead go into the general fund to offset the district's operating costs, said school board Vice President Scott Tracy. La Cañada Unified would retain the right to scrutinize and reject any gifts and naming requests deemed to be at odds with its mission.

Under existing policy, district officials can name a school facility after an individual in recognition of a significant contribution, financial or otherwise. But that policy does not outline specific dollar amounts to trigger that naming process.

The recently released dollar thresholds were set after studying naming opportunities at Flintridge Preparatory School and Loyola High School, among others, Tracy said.

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