A vacant 50-acre lot valued at nearly $9 million has been donated to Madera Unified School District for a future K-8 school, the district announced Monday.
The donor is King Husein, CEO of SPAN Construction & Engineering Inc., one of the largest steel building construction companies in the U.S.
The new school is to be built on the south side of West Cleveland Avenue between Avenue 16 and North Westberry Boulevard, west of Highway 99 in the city of Madera. The district said the new school will help alleviate overcrowding at nearby Lincoln and Adams elementary schools and Howard School, and also provide enrollment space for new residential development.
The school site is pending a review by the California Department of Education and the California Environmental Quality Act, the district said. If approved, the district plans to grant naming rights for King Husein School, subject to the School Board’s final discretion.
Support for Education
In a news release from the district, Husein said he decided to support Madera Unified for several reasons. He credits education as the catalyst that allowed him to leave his native India for the U.S., where he built his career and started his business, which is headquartered in Madera.
“There are many great causes you can donate to, but to me, when you educate an individual, you are educating generations; you are pulling students out of poverty and giving them something to look forward to.” — King Husein, CEO, Span Construction & Engineering
Husein said he was impressed at the district’s “top-level” education.
“There are many great causes you can donate to, but to me, when you educate an individual, you are educating generations; you are pulling students out of poverty and giving them something to look forward to,” he said.
SPAN also has a close connection to Madera Unified through its chief financial officer, Madera High graduate Julia Pena.
Pena notes that her high school accounting teacher Sandon Schwartz helped set her on her career path. Schwartz is now the district’s deputy superintendent.
“What I am hoping for is that generations of kids get the same experience that I did and that they can contribute back to the community like I am doing,” Pena said in the news release.