Construction to begin this year at Torrey Hills, Carmel Del Mar

New homes along Carmel Valley Road in Pacific Highlands Ranch.
(Karen Billing)

The Del Mar Union School District approved a lease-leaseback agreement with Balfour Beatty for the construction of the new Early Childhood Development Center at Torrey Hills, as well as modernization work at Carmel Del Mar.

The agreement made at the April 22 board meeting involved guaranteed maximum price (GMP) in the amount of $1.7 million for the Torrey Hills project and $1.8 million for Carmel Del Mar.

Trustee Scott Wooden said he was a little uncomfortable in that he had hoped to see more of a presentation from staff about what the board was approving, because of the amount of money involved.

Mike Galis, director of maintenance, operations and facilities, assured the board that the staff has done their due diligence and he believes they will get good projects as a result.

He said the lease-leaseback construction method has been used by the district in the past and has proven to be an effective delivery method.

With lease-leaseback, the district has more control of the project, giving it the flexibility to select a contractor not just by the lowest bidder, but on their ability to complete the project. The property is then leased to the construction firm in exchange for the facilities.

Balfour Beatty underwent a bid process to select qualified subcontractors for the projects, choosing from four to six bids per subcontractor contract, Galis said.

At Torrey Hills, nine classrooms and two portables will be reconfigured to house the childhood development center, moving it from its home at Sycamore Ridge. The plan also includes a 30-space parking lot.

Construction will begin by the end of 2015, with the project complete for students to occupy in fall of 2016.

At Carmel Del Mar, the district will add shade structures, replace skylights and replace the aging heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. The new units have motion censors and controls to reduce overall energy consumption.

Galis said the work would be complete in August.

The $1.8 million work at Carmel Del Mar will be offset by $650,000 in funding from Prop 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act.