Encinitas district tentatively backs plan to use Pacific View cash

The Encinitas Union School District Board two weeks ago tentatively approved a plan for funds netted from selling the Pacific View property to the city of Encinitas.

Board members unanimously passed a resolution stating an intent to invest $5 million of the Pacific View cash in bonds for future technology upgrades.

“The board acknowledged we need a long-term sustainability plan for technology,” Superintendent Tim Baird said this week. He added that the district buys and replaces iPads, computers and other technology every five to seven years.

Because the proposed bond investment terms exceed five years, California Government Code required the board to pass a resolution, wait 90 days and then hold a final vote to purchase the bonds, according to Baird. He said the 90-day waiting period is in place so that the board has time to think over the decision and cover all bases.

Investing $5 million in bonds could generate an annual rate of return as high as 4 percent over a period as long as 25 years, much higher than the alternative of short-term investments, Baird said.

He stated the board will be presented with options for different bond investment strategies in about three months. Under one scenario, the district would start seeing bond returns in five years to buy new technology.

“If you can wait five or six years before you start seeing returns, you get higher returns,” Baird said.

The district sold the Pacific View property for $10 million. Baird said the district is looking to spend the other half of the Pacific View money on school upgrades and energy projects.

Plans call for modernizing classrooms at the nine district schools, putting in new heating and air conditioning systems, adding modular classrooms, installing solar panels, upgrading bathrooms and more.

Proposition P bond money and other sources will pay for much of the work, with $5 million from Pacific View covering the rest, or at least that’s the idea right now.

“That’s the direction we’re moving in,” Baird said.

The city of Encinitas, which bought the property last year, is looking at citizen proposals to transform the property into a gathering space.

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