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Construction Update: August 27, 2019

Construction Update: Aug. 27, 2019

Construction on Cardiff School has continued over the last month with installation of underground utilities (gas, electric and communications); electrical work; and rough grading for the new building pads.  

Additionally, the parking lot and walkways have been patched to allow for use once school resumes.

Power has been restored this week in advance of teachers and students returning to campus. Teachers returned on Tuesday, Aug. 20 and students returned on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

In order to be able to continue operating the school, construction is occurring in phases. All 60-70-year-old buildings are now gone. The main administration building and one, two-room classroom building remain intact. These buildings – along with eight portable classrooms – are fully functional and will house the school’s and District’s administrative offices and grades K-1 while the rest of the campus is being constructed. Students in second grade will attend classes at Ada W. Harris Elementary School during the construction. Second grade will once again be at Cardiff School when it reopens in August 2020.

Construction activity is currently diminishing and is focusing on preparing the eastern portion of the site for construction of new classroom buildings. Starting in November 2019, construction on the new classroom buildings will commence.

 In June 2020, the eight portable classrooms will be removed from the site and one remaining new classroom building will begin construction along with the remodel of the two classrooms attached to the administration building. New classroom buildings are scheduled to be completed by the end of Summer 2020 and the school will be ready to receive all K-2 students. The remaining classroom building will be completed in the Spring 2021. At that time the contractor will remove all remaining equipment and job site trailers from the site and the school’s new play fields will be built and be ready for all K-2 students when they return in August 2021. At this time the District will once again make the school’s play fields available to the community when not being used by the school or District.

 Cardiff School play fields are owned solely by the District and are not a City or Community Park. The District named the Cardiff School play fields George Berkich Park to honor a previous Cardiff School principal and granted the City permission to use the school’s play fields for outdoor recreation programs in the early 1990’s because the City lacked its own park land at that time. 


Tree Removal Update

The District is committed to preserving as many trees as possible on the school site, and has worked closely with its architect, landscape architect, two arborists and contractors to identify several existing trees that will remain in place. 

Approximately 53 new trees are being added to the site and 17 fruiting trees are being relocated or replaced in kind. At the end of construction there will be over 30 more trees on the site than there were previously. These trees will also be more appropriate for the location and consistent with the current City of Encinitas landscape guidelines.

Unfortunately, two trees the District originally attempted to keep must be removed. Although these trees were known to be close to the proposed buildings, the District had hoped they could be kept. Once the site was cleared and new buildings locations determined, it became apparent these trees and their root structures were too close to the new buildings. The District had originally designed a site plan that worked around almost all existing trees, especially the larger trees. When the District redesigned the site to accommodate community requests to consolidate buildings on the eastern portion of the site many of these trees originally planned to remain had to be removed.

 The District has been working closely with two arborists and they have recommended the Torrey Pine and Aleppo Pine located at the northeast corner of the site should be removed for safety reasons. The District is working to save a Magnolia tree that was previously identified for removal. This tree is located just southeast of the library.

 What’s Next

 The District also continues to work through legal issues spurred on by a small group of neighbors who are opposed to the project. Most recently, this group filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) requesting the court halt all construction on the project. If they had been successful, Cardiff School would have been unable to receive students this year.

 Instead, the court granted a “limited” TRO, which only temporarily stops construction on the school play fields, except for utility work, until the legal issues can be resolved by the court. The TRO does not affect any other areas of construction on the site and the court has set dates in October

Need More Information about Measure GG?  

The District is committed to communicating with residents as this project progresses. You can learn more about the project by contacting Randy Peterson, the Measure GG Bond Program Manager at or reviewing the following documents on Measure GG and the Cardiff School rebuild project: