Trustees: Del Mar Hills Academy won’t be closed

Del Mar Hills Academy is no longer in danger of closing. The Del Mar Union School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously against shuttering the school and using it for their new district office on Feb. 10. The decision received a standing ovation from a packed house.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing this long process to a close,” said Del Mar Hills parent Vanessa Black.

The board also voted unanimously to take co-locating or building a district office at Torrey Hills Elementary off the table. Additionally, the board voted to direct their Realtors to look at office spaces that are up to 10,000 square feet outside the district boundaries.

The same night, Superintendent Sharon McClain presented her latest recommendation, which included buying or leasing a building to house the district office but in the case that they need more time, she suggested temporarily co-locating the district office at Del Mar Hills School and moving the district preschool to Sycamore Ridge.

Liz Shopes, a Del Mar Hills parent, said the board should not consider even temporarily locating the office at Del Mar Hills. “We don’t trust that you will leave,” she said.

In a surprise motion, Trustee Katherine White proposed flipping McClain’s proposal and co-locating the district office temporarily at Sycamore Ridge and housing the preschool at Del Mar Hills.

“Temporary co-location is scary because the end date is unknown,” said White, agreeing with Shopes.

She said choosing Sycamore as a temporary home is more suitable because the district would eventually be forced to leave due to the expected build-out of Pardee Homes developments in the area.

The temporary location for the district office was never brought to a vote. White did motion to remove Del Mar Hills as a location for the district office but after hearing the trustees were not ready to make that decision, she withdrew her motion.