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Commentary: Del Mar Heights School: Current Plan
Frank Stonebanks and Lena Liu | La Amatista

“We have several condemned portable classrooms that are unsafe for children. We have major plumbing issues. We have mold, rust, rodents, ants, rats, etc. Most importantly, our school is not up to code and in the event of an emergency, emergency personnel may not be able to get help to those in need.”

Over the last few months, you have been bombarded with messages from groups with lovely names like “Save the Fields” and “Play Outside Del Mar” with very altruistic sounding messages.

This small group of people is an extreme, vocal minority in the community trying to convince you through signs, loud voices, constant letters to the editor and on-line petitions, often signed by people that don’t live here (or even in the United States) or don’t even have kids at Del Mar Heights, that they have broader support than they really do. They are NOT representative of the overwhelming majority of tax paying residents, parents, teachers and others who truly want the best for our children, those who voted YES on Measure MM and want to see Del Mar Heights school rebuilt now.

The Del Mar Heights community supports the current Plan and rebuild of Del Mar Heights School, as planned by the school district to begin in June 2020, and supported by the ~12, 000 voters who voted YES on Measure MM on November 6, 2018 (61% of the community). The “we” here includes ALL teachers and staff at Del Mar Heights, ALL PTA Presidents representing the other 7 schools in the DMUSD, along with the overwhelming majority of people in the District.
Our two daughters actually attend Del Mar Heights. Children at Del Mar Heights currently attend classes on a campus that has been partially condemned due to rodent infestation and dangerous mold. This impacted several classrooms last year disrupting the teaching process. Students occupy classrooms that require buckets to catch rainwater and building materials to be replaced due to mold every time it rains.

More green space (on top of the 92, 000 square feet already in the Plan) is not the problem nor the priority. To give some context, 92,000 square feet is about the size of two NFL football fields. The current Plan includes two little league diamonds.

A local law firm has been retained by someone, the same law firm that was used to delay the Cardiff school district reconstruction, and has begun issuing FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to the DMUSD, diverting valuable time and resources away from getting our new school project moving. The result in Cardiff was a $500,000 payment used out of district funds to pay for the cost of the settlement, legal fees, and construction delays.

A delay at this stage would cost millions and set the timeline back at least a year; this after almost 2 years of consulting with the community and getting feedback. It’s time to build.

We care about this community and only want what’s best for our kids that attend this school. Let’s come together and make it clear that we will not accept our hard-earned tax dollars being used to pay attorneys rather than build a school.



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