The Solana Beach School District has been putting Measure JJ funds to use this summer, kicking off and completing several school modernizations and improvements for its elementary school students.
“We’ve had a really busy summer,” said Caroline Brown, the district’s executive director of capital programs and technology at the school board’s Aug. 10 meeting.
The first successfully completed Measure JJ project was the shade project at Solana Vista Elementary School, offering students cover on the playground and the third grade patio. Perhaps the most significant Measure JJ project to take off this summer was the demolition and reconstruction of Skyline Elementary School.
Shortly after school let out in June, the 62-year-old campus in Solana Beach was completely torn down.
In its place the district is constructing a $39 million campus that will feature a two-story administration and main classroom building with 27 classrooms, a media center, technology lab, multi-purpose building, STREAM building, and a four-classroom kindergarten building. The new school is expected to open in fall 2018 and, for a year, students will attend across the street at the old Earl Warren Middle School interim campus. Staff moved into the interim campus this week and will work to get it ready for students to return for the first day of school on Aug. 29.
Brown said that the project’s off-site work on Lomas Santa Fe Drive has not always made for a fun commute this summer, but it is the hope that it will be complete by the time school starts. She said school parents and the community should be aware that that area of Solana Beach will continue to have traffic issues as the city is doing traffic calming work on Stevens Avenue.
In Carmel Valley, the modernization of Solana Highlands Elementary School is nearing completion, with the new school entrance and administration office being the most visible to the community. The school got a fresh coat of paint that has given it a whole new look and will also get new carpeting and floor coverings, roofing and solar panels. The new student garden has already been completed and the expanded child nutrition kitchen is expected to be complete in the fall. The administrative offices will also continue construction into September — the offices have been located in Room 12 since the end of the school year.
Other Measure JJ projects expected to be completed this summer include the Solana Pacific Elementary School solar panels and, in Rancho Santa Fe, the Solana Santa Fe Elementary School lunch shelter replacement.
Under the rules of Proposition 39, the district must appoint an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (ICOC) to monitor all bond expenditures. The seven-member committee had its first meeting in July — meeting dates and minutes will be posted on the school district’s website, sbsd.k12.ca.us.
During the 2017-18 school year, the district is expected to begin planning for its next Measure JJ projects: the reconstruction of Solana Vista and the modernization of Solana Santa Fe.