Solana Beach School District seeks firms for reconstruction, modernization projects

Solana Beach School District
Solana Beach School District
(Kristina Houck)

If Solana Beach School District receives the required funding, two of its oldest schools will receive much needed improvements.

The school board on April 21 unanimously gave district staff the green light to advertise a request for qualifications from construction firms for the reconstruction of Skyline School and the modernization of Solana Highlands School.

As part of the long-range facilities master planning process, the district identified capital improvement projects districtwide. The district initiated the process in 2011 and the completed plan was presented to the board in 2013. The two projects identified to move forward in spring 2017, pending funding, are the reconstruction of Skyline School and the modernization of Solana Highlands School.

With a need for school improvements, the district is currently exploring whether to place a general obligation bond to pay for them on the ballot in November 2016.

Founded in 1925, the Solana Beach School District has seven elementary schools and a child development center. In 2014, the district opened its seventh school, Solana Ranch Elementary School, in Pacific Highlands Ranch. Other schools, however, opened decades ago and need to be updated. Skyline School, for example, was constructed in phases between 1955 and 1961 and was modernized in 2000.

In preparation for a potential bond measure, the district is currently working with architects and engineers on improvement projects for the schools. Architectural firms are in the design phase of the Skyline and Solana Highlands projects, which are scheduled to be submitted to the Division of the State Architect for review in October. The Division of the State Architect provides design and construction oversight for K-12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities.

As part of the process, the district plans to establish a committee to review the request for qualifications and perform interviews, if applicable. The committee will give consideration to firms with proven performance records for “timely and expedient completion of construction projects,” according to the staff report. A recommendation for construction firms will be presented to the board for approval.