One of ConnectGen’s core values is community investment. As such, the Fountain Wind Project will play an important role in supporting community, education, safety, and economic opportunity for all citizens in Shasta County and in particular the Intermountain Region. Turning this commitment into a reality requires collaboration and inspiration from the community. Based on input from residents and leaders of the Round Mountain and Montgomery Creek community, three categories of benefit have been identified; 1) an increased public safety presence, 2) a youth educational center, and 3) community resource space that is accessible year-round for emergency services, adult education, and other programs. Based on this feedback, Fountain Wind has conducted multiple meetings with area stakeholders, including the Shasta County Sheriff ’s Office, Mountain Union Elementary School District, Shasta College, and the Tri-County Community Network to evaluate specific needs of the community.
The Mountain Union Elementary School District’s Cedar Creek Elementary School has been identified as an opportunity to provide a multitude of community benefits. The Cedar Creek Elementary school is an approximate 10,000 square foot facility located at 29771 Terry Mill Road in Round Mountain. The school originally opened in 1980, and has been closed since 2009 due to declining enrollment.
This building has adequate space and facilities to provide a wide range of benefits to residents of Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, and the broader Intermountain Community, including youth education programs, community benefit programs, and enhanced public safety benefits. Proposed services and programs would include the following:
YOUTH AND ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAMS RELATED TO:
• Development of a Regional/California cultural education center focused on Native American history, including tribal language training and how modern technologies and ancient technologies compare/ contrast and influence one another1.
• Forestry and Resource History, Industry, and Management program, including experiential activities related to the Forestry/Natural Resource and Heavy Equipment Logging Operations Programs offered by Shasta College.
• Forest Fire Safety & Prevention, including a history of the 1992 Fountain Fire and other fire events in Shasta County. This program would cover the opportunities at the Shasta Union/CTE Fire Academy, located at Foothill High School, as well as the Fire Technology Program at Shasta College with introductions to Wildland Firefighting, Fire Prevention, and Emergency Response services.
• Energy resource education, including education and technical curriculum of the various energy resources local to Shasta County including hydropower, biomass cogeneration, wind, and solar.
• Food security and ag-tech education, in collaboration with regional research and development partners, creating an agriculture education center focused on small-scale agricultural design and cloud-based technologies, supporting the economic stability of low-acreage farms and local food production in providing a healthy food supply chain and sustainable revenue model for community members.
• The above-mentioned programs can be combined into weeklong summer camps serving students throughout California or the western United States.
Community Benefit programs Related to:
• Mental Health Counseling resources provided in consultation regional providers including but not limited to the Tri County Community Network and the Shasta County Department of Health and Human Services.
• Workforce Skills Training provided in collaboration with Shasta College, Shasta Builders’ Exchange, Tri-County Community Network, and other regional providers. Training for adults interested in developing or improving a wide variety of skills related to economic growth and well-being.
• Adult education and training workshops including home-based business opportunities, health, fitness, finances and retirement, computer skills, cooking, and self-care programs offered by Shasta College. Preparation and training would occur at the center with additional learning modules provided for individuals to take home.
• Children’s programs including preschool, childcare, and after-school programming in consultation with Tri-County Community Network.
• Bright Futures family learning workshops, training, activities, and resources through First 5 Shasta.
• Free public access to high-speed internet, including dedicated technology stations for access to training resources and telehealth services.
PUBLIC SAFETY BENEFITS IN THE FORM OF:
• Utilities and meeting space for Shasta County Sheriff ’s officers.
• Community support during potential power outages; the facility could be equipped with a backup energy source in the event of a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (“PSPS”), which are becoming more and more frequent, and could also provide a source of public Wi-Fi, water, nonperishable foods, and heat/air conditioning for those in need.
• Facilities and space for CALFIRE, CALTRANS, or other local EMS providers to use during special projects or in case of a local emergency.
The above recommendations are merely ideas and suggestions. The Cedar Creek Elementary building has the space to accommodate a variety of uses. Fountain Wind is flexible and excited to support any programs and initiatives that will provide long-lasting, multi-generational benefits to Shasta County, and in particular, Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, and all of the Intermountain region.
Fountain Wind is proposing to commit $1,000,000 for the purpose of creating and sustaining the Cedar Creek Resource Center. The Fountain Wind Project would provide funding for upgrades and rehabilitation of the facilities at the commencement of Project construction and finalization of the repurposing program. Fountain Wind would distribute remaining funds during the operational life of the wind project for the ongoing support of the facilities and related programs.
Fountain Wind also expects to partner with local organizations to leverage additional funding through grants and donations from the public and private sectors with a focus on youth services, safety, and adult education/training. Examples of such sources include the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) grants through the Department of Education; Workforce Development grants through Cedar Creek Resource Center the Department of Labor, Tribal Living Language Grant Program through the U.S. Department of the Interior; and Agriculture Technology Grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State education initiatives such as the California Adult Education Program, the Perkins Act, and Strong Workforce Programs are examples of joint K-12 & Community College programs with potential for supporting the needs of the Cedar Creek Resource Center. Overall, there are many resources already identified which would complement this repurposing opportunity.
Implementation & Advisory Committee
The success of this initiative will require input and guidance from the community. The first stage would involve consultation with community leaders to confirm the feasibility and reception of this proposal. Next, Fountain Wind will constitute an Advisory Committee to guide the investment. Within six months of approval of the Fountain Wind Project by the Board of Supervisors, Fountain Wind would establish the Cedar Creek Repurposing Advisory Committee currently envisioned to be composed of the following members2;
• Mountain Union Elementary School District Superintendent (or designee)
• Hill Country Community Clinic Representative
• Tri County Community Network (aka The Intermountain Community Center) Representative
• Pit River Tribe Representative
• Shasta College Representative
• Two at-large Community Members appointed by the Shasta County District 3 Supervisor
• One at-large industry partner to be chosen by the Advisory Committee
• Fountain Wind Representative
The Advisory Committee will commit to meeting at least once per quarter to guide the repurposing efforts and program planning. The Committee will conduct multiple community engagement sessions to gain input from the broader community on how the center could be used, how it would be named, and which areas of repurposing will be prioritized. Ultimately, it will be up to the Advisory Committee to decide how to administer the funding.
Note: Repurposing of the Cedar Creek Elementary School will be subject to community acceptance and the appropriate district and school board approvals, as well as the ability to obtain the necessary building permits and meet all county and state regulatory requirements and standards.
- Any program related to Tribal Cultural History would only be implemented based on the input and approval by the appropriate tribal representatives.
- The entities and organizations represented in this list are tentative. Confirmation of participation in the Advisory Committee would be required.