Letters to the editor: Cardiff School needs to be rebuilt

It’s time to rebuild the 65-year-old classrooms and multipurpose room at Cardiff School. 
Cardiff schools have a well-deserved reputation for educational excellence. Unfortunately, the current facilities at Cardiff Elementary School do not live up to the high level of expectations we set for Cardiff.

The Cardiff School board has unanimously voted to put a $22 million school improvement measure on the November 2016 ballot. The vast majority of this funding would go to rebuilding the 65-year-old Cardiff School classrooms and multipurpose room/auditorium.

Why do we need new classrooms at Cardiff Elementary?

Maintenance: The heavily used classrooms and multipurpose room are 65 years old and are in need of major repairs. Despite regular maintenance, the Cardiff School facilities have reached an age where they are an increasing financial burden to maintain.

Efficiency: The classrooms and multipurpose room were built using 1950s technology and are fundamentally inefficient compared to a modern building. As such, the buildings are expensive to heat and difficult to keep cool.

Functional and Cohesive Layout: The layout of the Cardiff School campus is not cohesive. The multipurpose room is undersized and its location in the middle of the campus raises safety concerns. In addition, the 1950s classroom layout is not designed around 21st century learning needs.

Drop-off Safety: The present layout of the campus is not optimized for efficient and safe drop off and pick up of students. This creates unsafe conditions and unnecessarily impacts our neighbors.

What is the proposal?

1. Rebuild the Cardiff School classrooms with modern 21st century learning environments.

2. Rebuild and relocate the multipurpose room making it close to the entrance of the campus with a capacity to seat all students and increase safety.

3. Improve student drop-off and pick-up by increasing the size of the designated drop-off and pick-up areas and maximizing traffic flow and safety.

4. Install solar panels on both schools with the aim of achieving a net-zero campus, using savings to augment the maintenance budget.

5. Retrofit the brick building on the corner of San Elijo to make it safe and suitable for students and community use.

How is it funded?

Today, major school facilities projects in California are almost always funded by a local school improvement measure commonly known as a school bond. The proposed $22 million bond is financed by a tax on homeowners based on a property’s assessed valuation. The typical Cardiff taxpayer would pay roughly $10/month based on an assessed property valuation of $500,000.

Summary:

When the Cardiff classrooms were constructed in 1950 they were hailed as the “most modern school in California.” Today this is clearly not the case. We need to be able to proudly repeat these words and proclaim that our school facilities are modern, efficient and safe. Measure GG will do just that.

I hope you will join me in voting yes on GG.

Mark Whitehouse

President, Cardiff School Board

Encinitas ballot Measure T, a ticking time bomb

Measure T, the so-called Encinitas Housing Element Update on the November ballot, in my opinion, is a ticking time bomb that must be exposed before it explodes and destroys our city. It is an unnecessary nightmare about to happen. There is absolutely nothing in T that enhances our community or reinforces the wishes of the people. It is all about power, greed and money. Those that study the issue and read between the lines should find this to be true.

Unfortunately, the Encinitas City Council caved in to city staff and special interests and endorsed this irresponsible plan. Now it is up to the citizenry to fight back if we want to ensure a bright future for of our communities, our city and our wonderful quality of life.

I dare to speculate that less than 1 percent of the electorate who enter the polls on Nov. 8 will have read all of Measure T or understand its many ramifications, so it is up us who really care to come together, seek the truth and educate others about the dangers lurking inside this 288-page demolition devise.

Please help spread the word to your friends and neighbors that:

1. If they want to keep current Encinitas laws, codes and zones that were created to protect community character, personal investment and quality of life, they must vote no on T.

2. If they want to protect the recently passed Proposition A and their right to vote on amendments to planning policy documents, they must vote no on T.

3. If they want their elected officials to have a final say on planning issues rather than just a planning staff member, they must Vote No on T.

4. If they are really interested in providing adequate housing for their children, seniors and persons with low income, they must Vote No on T.

5. If they want to retain their favorite stores, vehicular access to them and parking within a reasonable distance, they must Vote No on T.

6. If they want to protect their cherished views from new development that could approach the height of the recent Scripps Hospital addition (48 feet), they must Vote No T.

7. If they want to protect their neighborhoods from, high density, mixed use encroachment, they must Vote No on T.

There are other viable ways to meet the state and legal housing requirements without the increase in traffic, and loss of citizen rights and community character that Measure T imposes.

Remember the “T” in Measure T stands for Terrible. Vote no on Measure T.

A good voting rule is: if you don’t know, vote no.

William Fairchild

President of Cardiff Kids

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