City and school officials said the joint use of the facilities will continue the spirit of cooperation that has existed for years between the city and the district.
Brawley Union High School District Superintendent Garth Isom said the grant is important because it will enable the district to fund building of a new cafeteria rather than upgrading the existing facility.
In 1998 district voters approved Measure T, a bond measure to set aside $10 million for a number of upgrades around the high school.
That funding would have provided $500,000 for the renovation of the cafeteria, but district officials decided based on the level of renovation necessary, it made more sense to build a new cafeteria.
Isom said a new facility would cost about $2 million and with that in mind the district joined with the city and the Boys and Girls Club to seek the state grant.
The district will be able to divide Measure T funds with the grant to cover both the cost of building a new cafeteria and covering the cost of building classrooms and offices in the front section of the new gym.
Karin Morgan, Brawley director of parks and recreation, said of the grant, "I think it's a plus for the entire community."
She said Brawley does not have a large tax base so agencies such as the city, the schools and youth clubs have to work together to provide services.
She pointed out the city already has free use of the high school's gym for youth basketball programs and the high school has use of city parks and the city pool for athletics.
"It's a tough community economically," Morgan said, adding agencies must work together as a "matter of survival."
With two gyms at the high school, Morgan said she can envision starting new programs such as youth volleyball. She also foresees more programs geared toward teens.
Isom agreed cooperation has been key for the school district, the city and the Boys and Girls Club. He concurred that with two gyms space would become available for more youth programs.
Construction on the new gym could be nearing a start date.
The school district has scheduled a special meeting for April 24 to open bids from construction firms looking to build the gymnasium. The school board could during that meeting select a construction firm, which would allow work to start.
The board also could consider bids for the cafeteria. However, during a meeting this week, district trustees discussed delaying the cafeteria project based on action the Brawley Elementary School District may take in May.
According to Isom, the elementary district — which now receives its food from the high school district — is looking at other options for food services.
If that board decides to no longer utilize the high school cafeteria, that could lead BUHS officials to reduce the scope of the cafeteria project.
Isom said while it would not mean cutting the size of the facility, it could mean reducing the amount of kitchen equipment.
>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.