By Karen Billing
The Del Mar Union School District’s staff members could be moving into their new office building by February. On Dec. 15, the district board directed staff to move forward on the purchase of the building at 11232 El Camino Real in Carmel Valley; the sale could close by the end of the year.
The district may also make some money through the purchase. Currently the El Camino Real office building’s second floor has a tenant that pays $18,000 a month. Should the district purchase the building, the district will collect rent from the tenant, $216,000 a year, until the tenant’s lease runs out in 2013.
“This one looks like it could be a win,” said board member Scott Wooden.
Additionally, there’s a cell phone tower that generates about $3,000 a month in rent.
District superintendent James Peabody said San Diego Interiors completed the space planning and the entire 29-person staff will fit on the first floor until the law firm on the second floor leaves in two years.
In 2013, the district would occupy the first and second floor.
Tenant improvements on the site will take around seven weeks and cost about $75 per square foot. Peabody estimates they could move in around the end of February, early March. The district has to be out of its current 9th Street facility in Del Mar by May or risk paying $92,000 in rent a year.
The new office will have an area for parents to register children comfortably; work rooms; a much bigger conference room; and a break room with “actual tables and chairs.”
“We’ll have restrooms with hot water,” Peabody said, something the district staff has been without for quite some time.
Wooden asked whether the space allows for room to grow if, for example, the district had to add a ninth school. Peabody said he is confident they have all the space they need for growth.
“If we added another school the biggest impact would be in purchasing and in human resources,” Peabody said. “We have the space to increase in both those areas. We also have space in pupil services and after-school services. I’m pleased ... that we can operate once Carmel Valley is built out.”
Board member Doug Rafner asked how the staff has been able to fit on the 9th Street property.
“It’s a sight to behold,” Peabody said. “People in the trailers are very familiar with every conversation taking place. Not only is it small... the walls are thin.”