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Education

Construction of Del Mar Heights School underway after years of legal challenges

For more than three years, students at Del Mar Heights Elementary haven't had a school to call their own.

They’ve been working out of portables at two other schools in the district, with half the pupils at Del Mar Hills and the other half at Ocean Air Elementary, while the future of their sea-view campus played out in the courts.

It’s been a lot to juggle for parents, especially those with kids at different sites like Jesse Barrick.

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“It‘s been a challenge,” Barrick said. "I mean it takes more time to get the kids to and from school, sometimes our older daughter is catching the bus, she can’t have lunch with her younger sister. Her younger sister is sad that her older sister is not there for those special moments”

The rebuild was supposed to start in 2020 and finish in time for the 2021 fall semester. But two lawsuits filed by the group, Save the Field, pressed pause on construction work. They’re concerned the new site will lead to more traffic, fire risks and damage the local environment.

In the latest turn of events, San Diego Superior Court has thrown out an injunction which means the project can continue.

The new site will be over 66,000 square feet and will be able to accommodate more than 500 students. PE teacher, Ian Phillip, is looking forward to the school being back together again.

“Being able to walk across school and deal with a concern, or a celebration, to just have an assembly together, and celebrate normal elementary school things, that’s been gone since we left," Phillip said.

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The rebuild is expected to take around a year to complete.

In a statement Save the Field said, “We now call on everyone to move beyond this divisiveness and to peacefully support the safety of our community, together."

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