No significant impacts found for Skyline School reconstruction

Following the passing of the Prop JJ general obligation bond in November, the Solana Beach School District (SBSD) is getting ready to start moving this year on the reconstruction of 62-year-old Skyline Elementary School. The Coastal Commission has approved the complete remodel and on Feb. 9 the district approved a resolution adopting a mitigated negative declaration (MND) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The negative declaration means that all potential environmental impacts of the project are not significant or that measures can be taken to lessen the impacts.

SBSD Superintendent Terry Decker said with the implementation of mitigation measures included in the resolution, the potentially significant impacts would be mitigated to levels below significance. Those measures include minimizing traffic by using off-site parking for construction workers, reducing construction-related impacts on nesting migratory birds, and having both an archaeologist and paleontologist on site for any items that could be historically significant found during grading.

Construction will begin in June on the complete remodel, which includes 33 new classrooms representing an increase of three from the current campus configuration. The parking lot will also see an additional 22 spaces.

During the 14-month reconstruction, students will attend school at Earl Warren Middle School’s interim campus across the street. The global education program will also be re-located temporarily to Solana Highlands Elementary School.

The city of Solana Beach reviewed the district’s MND document and had comments about the traffic circulation impacts as well as pedestrian circulation.

The city recommended that the existing sidewalk along Lomas Santa Fe be widened to accommodate pedestrians. The district has noted the city’s suggestion and said it would continue to coordinate with the city as they continue work redesigning street standards on the Lomas Santa Fe corridor. The MND noted that the school currently has an internal walkway that provides access to Lomas Santa Fe without having students cross any of the school driveways.

In response to the city’s comments about traffic circulation, the district responded that a study has been conducted and they do not believe a mitigation will be required.

Approximately 330 Skyline students will begin school on the Earl Warren campus at 8:55 a.m., 10 minutes after the end of the peak hour of morning traffic on Stevens Avenue. Skyline will end at 3:05 p.m., 15 minutes after the end of Earl Warren’s day. The MND states that the traffic generated by Skyline students during these times would be less than the average 680 Earl Warren students.

Skyline will provide free busing to transport approximately 180 global education students to Solana Highlands Elementary School from the parking lot of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.