Del Mar district schools to get a variety of upgrades should bond pass


By Karen Billing

In the interest of being “communicative and responsive to what the community wants to know,” Del Mar Union School District Superintendent Holly McClurg presented, at the Sept. 19 school board meeting, some of the facility needs that would be financed should November’s Prop CC pass.

Prop CC asks voters to approve the issuing of $76.8 million in bonds to improve technology, provide accessible classrooms for students with disabilities, fix leaky roofs and worn-out floors, and upgrade aging classrooms, libraries and school buildings.

“Our large priority and need is to focus on facilities and infrastructure that make environments conducive for 21st century learning,” McClurg said, noting that it’s more than just putting technology devices in every student’s hands. “Even our newest schools are not designed for that learning environment.”

About $15 million is projected for district-wide projects such as upgrading safety and security systems; upgrading current infrastructure to support high bandwidth; installing an improved data center and storage; providing 21s century technology tools to students; and building an early childhood center, including a special education pre-school.

Each school site will get the individual upgrades they need in classroom technology improvements, outdoor student areas, and safety and security.

When questioned about safety elements as the district just underwent a fencing project at all sites, Randy Wheaton, director of maintenance, said that it’s more about protecting what the district owns with additional monitors and cameras.

Carmel Del Mar, Del Mar Heights and Del Mar Hills are among the schools with the highest number of planned projects.

An estimated $9.6 million is earmarked for Carmel Del Mar for a campus-wide modernization to replace the roof, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), interior/exterior paint, fire alarm, design and construct a food service center, redesign the library media center, install enhanced audio systems in the classrooms, install shade shelter in the lunch area and more.

“[The school] looks good when you walk up but there are significant needs that need to be addressed,” McClurg said.

With $9.2 million for Del Mar Heights and $8.7 for Del Mar Hills, projects include replacement of roofs, portable classrooms, play structures and water and sewer systems.

Most schools share the same security and classroom technology improvements, although some have unique projects like installing shade shelter in the kindergarten lunch area at Ocean Air School, expanding the lunch area and adding water fountains and shade structures at Sage Canyon, and installing HVAC in the multi-use room at Torrey Hills.

For the district’s strategic planning, the board is trying to predict what the district will need 25 years from now as well as the potential of a ninth school.

All project lists and costs can be found at