CARDIFF SCHOOL DISTRICT’S MEASURE GG
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
ABOUT THE REBUILD AND CONSTRUCTION
What are the long-term benefits of the Cardiff School rebuild?
The Cardiff School rebuild will provide the following benefits to our students and parents:
- Create a more safe, secure campus
- Provide a modern learning environment
- Improve drop-off and pick-up areas
- Reduce traffic congestion
- Improve playfields
What is the schedule for construction of the Cardiff School rebuild?
The District started construction at the end of June 2019. Construction is anticipated to be complete by Spring 2021. A complete construction timeline is available on the District’s website.
What should the Cardiff community expect during construction?
During construction, the community should expect the following:
- Construction trucks and equipment on and around the school site
- No public access to the school site during construction for safety and security reasons as well as construction operations.
- Construction fencing around the entire site
- Because the site is small, the contractor must utilize the entire site for the storage of construction materials, job site trailers, and the movement of large, heavy construction equipment. As work is completed on one portion of the site, the contractor must shift their materials and work to other portions of the site.
- Closure of the playfields, hardcourt and dog park during construction
- A small portion of the campus will remain open for grades K-1 students beginning in August 2019. This area will be adjusted as work is completed on site.
- Construction hours are currently planned to occur Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with some work occurring on Saturdays as needed to complete this important work during the summer when students are not on campus. All construction hours will adhere to the City of Encinitas municipal code.
- Campus closure will last through the end of construction, which is currently slated for Spring 2021.
What part of the school is under construction now?
At the end of June 2019, the construction team started:
- Fencing of the entire site to maintain security and safety throughout construction, as well as to accommodate the contractor’s operations. This includes all areas containing buildings, parking and drop-off/pick-up paved areas, grass play areas, hardcourt play areas, apparatus play areas, and dog park. This includes any outdoor school play areas the District named “George Berkich Park.” Although the District granted the City of Encinitas permission to utilize the playfields through a joint-use agreement in 1991, this land is owned exclusively by Cardiff School District and is not a park.
- Demolition of all 60-70 year-old existing classroom and multi-purpose buildings on site (Administration building with two attached classrooms to remain. Eight portable classrooms to remain until completion of new classrooms.)
- Installation of main underground utilities
Construction of new classroom buildings is scheduled to begin in November 2019. A second phase of construction including a new multi-purpose building and new parking lot is also planned.
I heard the park at Cardiff School is going away. Is that true?
No. The school’s playfield area, which was named George Berkich Park by the District in honor of a previous school principal, will remain part of the school campus and community access to the school playfield areas will continue to be allowed after school hours and on the weekends as it is today. The field and playground layout will be reworked for better line-of-sight supervision and more functional use. These areas will be temporarily closed during construction for safety reasons.
What is happening to the school garden and brick building on campus?
The garden and brick building will remain in place. These areas will be temporarily closed during summer construction for safety reasons. The garden will reopen for student educational programs at the end of this summer.
I heard that the District removed several trees on site during construction. Why were these trees removed?
The District has been committed to keeping as many trees as possible on the school site. The District has worked closely with its architect, landscape architect, arborist and contractor throughout the process. The design identifies many existing trees to remain and be protected in place. Some trees are being relocated and some trees are being removed.
About Planned Tree Removals
Before construction started, the District prepared a comprehensive landscaping plan, which serves as a blueprint to address, in detail, existing trees and new landscaping features on the project site. This included an assessment by the District, its construction contractor and a registered arborist on the existing landscaping and trees on site.
It was determined by the team that a number of trees should be removed for the following reasons:
- Invasive species: Some trees were removed because they have an invasive root structure and can cause issues with water and sewer infrastructure. Many of these trees also impacted school operations, with excessive sap, seeds and leaves in storm drains and on school site.
- Health of the trees: Some were unhealthy while the structural integrity of other trees was identified by the arborist as a concern.
- Safety: Unhealthy trees can be unstable and fall over or have branches fall without warning, which could pose a safety issue for students, teachers, parents and community members who visit the school site.
- Location of trees: Some trees and their complex root systems were located near future utilities or buildings anticipated in the school rebuild.
This information was included in the District’s submittal of construction plans to the City of Encinitas, as part of the process of obtaining the Coastal Development Permit.
About Unplanned Tree Removal
During construction unforeseen conditions can arise. In one instance during the demolition of a retaining wall and adjacent building located in the northeast corner of the site, it was discovered that, due to an existing retaining wall and adjacent slope, a Torrey Pine lacks root structure on one side of the tree. In addition, proposed construction of a new building may further impact this tree. It appears the tree leans slightly north toward Montgomery Avenue and the known lack of root structure occurs on the south side of the tree. As a result, the District is concerned that this tree could be at risk of falling. The District has asked its landscape architect and arborist to evaluate the situation and will make a final determination as to whether it must be removed. The District has also contacted the City of Encinitas Planning Department and made them aware of the issue. If the tree is removed it will be replaced with another tree or trees located appropriately.
While the District is disappointed that a tree may need to be removed, it is pleased that a mature Magnolia tree originally identified to be removed has been able to be saved. The District remains committed to saving as many trees as possible.
Will the District replant trees as part of the construction?
The District worked with City staff to ensure the project’s landscaping plan provides adequate trees and proper species selection. In some cases, the District will replace trees with the same species of the trees being removed. In some cases, the District will replace less desirable and/or invasive trees with a species that is more appropriate, sustainable long term and consistent with the City of Encinitas guidelines. In addition, the District has also taken extra measures to remove some existing fruit trees, maintain them elsewhere during construction, and have them replanted on the site.
What are the next steps for construction?
School will resume on Aug. 27. Students in grades K-1 at Cardiff School will return on-site and students in grade 2 will temporarily attend classes at Ada Harris during construction.
Construction of the new classroom buildings is scheduled to start in November 2019 and will continue through Spring 2021. A complete construction schedule is available on the District’s website.
How will the new school affect neighbors’ views?
The final Cardiff School design is built primarily within the footprint of the old campus. The new one-and-a-half story multipurpose room will be built adjacent to the school office and at the front entrance to improve student safety. The roof line will be than that of the existing administration building and lower than many adjacent residences. Utilizing the natural slope of the campus, the multipurpose room is situated at a lower point of the campus site, minimizing impacts to views.
Is there a grant agreement that would preclude the District from building on any portion of the current playfields?
In 1991 the City of Encinitas, newly founded and lacking community parks, requested the use of the Cardiff School playfield areas for its outdoor recreation programs. As a favor to the City, the District granted the City’s request and the two entities entered into a joint-use agreement. Subsequent to that, the City processed an application for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to help pay for improvements to the school’s playfields in order to accommodate the City’s programs. While the District benefitted from improvements made to the Cardiff School playfields through this $160,000 grant, as well as additional funding, it never relinquished it’s ownership of the land and the school property has never become a park. Cardiff School playfields was named George Berkich Park by the District in honor of a previous Cardiff School principal and the District has always had a history of making its school playfields available to the community.
Currently the District and City, as co-signatories on the grant, are addressing the compliance of the LWCF grant agreement. The California State Parks Office of Grants and Local Services is guiding the District through the process already established to meet the changing needs of grant recipients in order to maintain compliance with grant requirements.
What is happening at Ada Harris School?
Since Ada Harris School is a relatively new school, only minor upgrades will be made under Measure GG. The school recently had the majority of its light fixtures replaced to increase energy efficiency and improve the quality of light in the classrooms.
Ada Harris will be accommodating Cardiff School students in grade 2 during the rebuild of Cardiff School.
ABOUT MEASURE GG
What is Measure GG?
In 2016, Cardiff voters decidedly passed Measure GG – a bond measure to rebuild and renovate schools in the Cardiff School District (CSD). The District is now working on implementing Measure GG funded projects, which include rebuilding and renovating Cardiff School while also providing some upgrades at Ada Harris School.
Why is Measure GG needed?
Measure GG will replace the aging infrastructure of the 55 plus year-old buildings on the Cardiff School campus, improve campus layout for increased student safety, and address the educational needs of the students now and into the future.
Did the community support Measure GG?
Yes. The school bond passed with 65.9 percent of voters in Cardiff voting in favor of the measure.
What is being built and remodeled because of Measure GG?
The majority of work will take place at Cardiff School. Aging classrooms will be rebuilt and optimized for indoor/outdoor learning environments; the field and playground layout will be reworked for better line-of-sight supervision and more functional use; and the multipurpose room will be relocated from the interior of the campus to the front of the campus for increased supervision and security of students and visitors. The new multipurpose room will be appropriately sized for young children and will be able to accommodate the entire student body. Its location closer to parking and the school office will allow for easier public access both during and after school hours.
Minor improvements at Ada Harris School have also been made, including lighting fixture upgrades to increase energy efficiency.
When will these projects be finished?
Construction on Cardiff School will take place from Summer 2019 through Spring 2021.
How have plans for Cardiff School changed since the bond measure was proposed?
Three conceptual plans were originally developed as prototypical designs for estimating budget numbers for the bond measure. A budget and a list of identified needs were identified in the bond language that was placed on the ballot. Once the bond was passed, the District entered into formal site plan development.
With a great deal of input from teachers, students, parents and Cardiff residents, the design went through several major changes before being finalized. Some of these changes included relocating the kindergarten classroom buildings from the northwest corner of the campus to the current footprint, reducing the height and orientation of the multipurpose room, shortening the parking and pick up areas, and tightening up the layout of the classroom buildings.
Will Measure GG completely cover the costs for these projects or will supplemental funds be needed?
Most of the project costs will be covered by Measure GG with some additional funding coming from California Props 51 and 39, and some District capital project funds.