In April 2019, the Fountain Valley Unified School District (FVUSD) chose Brookfield Residential from a list of 20 bids to purchase the Fred Moiola Elementary School (Moiola school) site for future development.
The former Moiola school, named after former City Councilman Fred Moiola, opened on July 1, 1971 and operated as a public school until its closing on June 30, 2012.
Fred Moiola, who was born in 1925 near the location of the school, was a descendant of Italian immigrants who farmed in the community. He was affiliated with Moiola Brothers cattle feeding and ranching. His late wife, Joan S. (Dunham) Moiola, was also a contributor to the school. Mr. Moiola was on the Fountain Valley City Council when he died in a plane crash on April 17, 1963.
The approximately 12.9-acre former school site currently supports a total of 40,073 square feet of buildings made up of four classroom buildings each with 6 classrooms plus a central 1,674 SF multipurpose room, one administrative building, three restroom/custodial pods, and three modular classrooms. The former school site provided approximately 65 parking spaces in two separate parking areas.
The former school housed approximately 600+ students within grades K-8. Enrollment fluctuated after 2007, and then started to decline, leading to the FVUSD’s decision to close the school in 2011. The School Boundary & Closure Committee, a 20-member group of parents, school officials, and community members made the decision to close the school using criteria such as size, current enrollment, and proximity to the closest school. The Moiola school met most of the criteria and the closure was estimated to save the Fountain Valley School District at least $375,000 per year.
After the public school’s closing, LePort Montessori School, a private elementary school, began its lease of the school in May 2014 and terminated its lease on June 30, 2018. After LePort closed, FVUSD could not find a qualified education-oriented tenant to occupy the buildings. Subsequently, FVUSD decided to sell the property after an extensive process to vet the best proposal to develop the property with a use that is compatible with the neighboring community and will bring the greatest benefit to the school district. A residential use was contemplated as the best use for the property and Brookfield was selected through this process.