San Diego Unified breaks ground in Pacific Beach for modernized school
The San Diego Unified School District broke ground Tuesday on its latest investment in school building improvements.
A renovation and construction project at Pacific Beach Elementary School includes a new kindergarten building and state-of-the-art classrooms.
Students in Sydney Arthur’s universal transitional kindergarten class have windows with a view of construction happening outside. They have incorporated the project into their learning environment.
Collaborative workspaces across the campus are a major part of the facilities upgrade.
“In kindergarten, (students) sometimes know their letters and things. But, I think right now they really need to learn how to share and talk to each other. They need to be able to include each other before we tackle more challenging academics," Arthur said.
By late next year, current pre-K students could be in the new kindergarten building in the first phase of the modernization plan.
San Diego Unified School Board trustees used voter-approved bond money to pay for the Pacific Beach Elementary project: 60-year-old buildings will come down and all of the temporary buildings, commonly known as bungalows, will be removed.
“We spent a lot of time in bungalows. Bungalows are a reality and we really had to skimp on facilities. Now with this bond money, we’re able to get high-quality facilities," said School Board Trustee Cody Petterson, who attended Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony.
The school property has been in the neighborhood since 1930. The renovation is about more than just improving educational space. It is also about supporting the surrounding community.
The school’s 1.8-acre sports field will be expanded to include a new track for area residents to use after school hours and on the weekends. San Diego Unified has designated 350 acres of joint-use park space connected to schools across the county. The Pacific Beach field will also include basketball courts and a new playground as part of a district-wide master plan.
Lee Dulgeroff, the senior executive director of Facilities, Planning, and Construction for the district, said “(We're working in) areas that are park deficient or space deficient for parks. As San Diego continues to grow, we don’t grow any new land. So, it’s important to maximize our use of existing space.”