The back and forth between Cardiff School District and a vocal group of residents over the plan to rebuild Cardiff Elementary with Measure GG funds
The District wants to use the $22 million bond to rebuild the 60-year-old classrooms, move the auditorium (multipurpose room) north of the current Administration office, change the configuration of George Berkich Park by creating one long contiguous field, improve parking, and streamline student pickup and drop off.
Berkich Park will remain a joint-use park, the brick building on the north corner of the park will stay, and the dog park will be untouched.
School Board Meeting, August 2017: The public’s first glimpse of a new campus was presented by Randy Peterson, a consultant hired by the District to manage the project. He spoke to a mostly disagreeable crowd and showed a proposed design that was vastly different from what is there now: classrooms were shown in new locations that were spread out with a lot of space between them and Berkich Park was much smaller.
School Board Meeting, February 2018: The second iteration of the rebuild plan was presented, showing changes made at the request of the School Board, many of them stemming from public comments at the last meeting. Although some in attendance were now ok with the revised plan, others wanted additional changes. The Board directed the architect to again consider some of the comments made and to make further changes.
School Board Meeting, April 2018: The architect presented a third iteration of the plan, again incorporating some of the public comments from the previous meeting. This plan was voted on by the Board and is now their “Final Plan”. However, the newly formed opposition group, the Cardiff Preservation Society, vows to keep the District from building the new auditorium within the current Berkich Park boundary.
One member of the Preservation Society, who wishes to remain anonymous,
Jill Vinson, Superintendent of the District doesn’t think the agreement is a problem, “The district is working directly with the State of California Office of Grants and Local Services, who administers the program, through a well-established process to meet the changing needs of grant recipients in order to maintain compliance with grant requirements.”
Another member of the Cardiff Preservation Society, Dr. Gary Schneiderman, who sits on the Encinitas Senior Citizens Commission, also wants the District to build the auditorium in a different location, “We really don’t want to lose any
Julie Parker, Principal of Cardiff Elementary, points out that although they are using some of the
The Society is also worried about how the school will use the auditorium. They are concerned that the school will rent it out for weddings and other public events during non-school hours. Julie Parker responded with, “No, that won’t happen. That is a rumor with unknown origin. Our intention is to continue to use it as the current one is used now – for community meetings, election polling, etc.”
Cardiff School Board Member David Ross was disappointed at how long the process is taking, “I don’t think there are any concessions the Board could make that would make those fighting the plan happy.”