By bike and by scooter, on foot or by carpool, students streamed into the new Skyline Elementary School Aug. 28 for the first day of school on the new campus. So many kids and parents were early for school that a crowd formed at the entrance to the school, waiting eagerly for the gates to open.
“After years of planning and with the support of our community, parents, students and staff, we are ready to re-open Skyline School for students,” said Solana Beach School District President Debra Schade. “I am pleased that we met our commitment to the community to open for the 2018-19 school year. The feedback from parents and students has been extremely positive. Students are excited to start school.”
The new Skyline was completely rebuilt in a little over a year following the demolition of the 62-year-old campus on Lomas Santa Fe Drive. The new $39 million, 75,239-square-foot campus rose up in its place, featuring a two-story administration and main classroom building, a media center, technology lab, multi-purpose building, and STREAM building. A kindergarten building, theater and student service kitchen will be completed in the fall.
The campus will also feature an extended drop off aimed at preventing Lomas Santa Fe back-ups, a new play space with a track, turf field, amphitheater and garden. The school will be able to generate solar power from solar panels on the parking lot canopies and lunch shelter.
During construction, Skyline students were housed across the street at Earl Warren Middle School—the Solana Beach School District partnered with San Dieguito Union High School District to utilize the temporary campus at the newly reconstructed Earl Warren. Both districts were recognized by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association with the Regional Golden Watchdog Award for the joint effort to save taxpayer dollars.
In the last week before school opened, there was a flurry of activity on campus to ready the classrooms for the children. An Aug. 27 mini open house gave excited teachers and staff a chance to greet students and provide tours of classrooms and the new campus.
“I was really surprised at the friendliness of staff,” said new Skyline parent Johnny Meraz. “My daughter Cielo really enjoyed meeting her new teacher, Mrs. Applegate, and was shocked to see her amazing classroom. We can’t wait for the first day of class tomorrow!”
Construction of the new school was made possible by the successful passage of the Measure JJ general obligation bond in 2016. The district worked with Davy Architecture to design the state-of-the art, sustainable facilities to align with the educational needs of Solana Beach students. A team of stakeholders was established to provide input on the design of the new campus.
Solana Vista Elementary School is the next SBSD campus that will be built from the ground-up. Parent and community design forums are expected to be held in September with the final conceptual design presented to the board for approval in October or November. The district is targeting summer of 2019 for construction to begin.