We’ve been saying for weeks that the district’s new school design has been built on grossly exaggerated numbers for the remaining playing field size and green space – from the day they first unveiled actual numbers to the public in late September. Turns out they admitted it themselves in the Del Mar Times on November 28. They tried to camouflage it with the architect announcing a “9% increase” and board president Erica Halpern saying the increase was a “pretty impressive response” to the community’s request for larger fields. But the truth is that — using their numbers — 9% larger fields actually means 4% smaller fields. And 9% larger green space actually means 23% less – 32,596 square feet less, to be exact.
We addressed the bad numbers in a letter to the editor that ran in this week’s Del Mar Times. We’ve pasted it below in full. It explains the chronology and details. Give it a read.
We’ll leave you with a question. Do you know what happened when one of us emailed every single DMUSD board member this week and asked each of them in a straightforward way to give us an explanation? The answer is nothing. Four of the five simply ignored us, and the board president Erica Halpern said only she would “ask the staff to clarify the numbers”, which resulted in zero response.
We elected them. We passed their 32 year bond for $186 million dollars. Our tax bills fund the new school. Do we not deserve transparency, truth, and straight answers to simple questions on fundamental community issues?
We ask that you to join us and ask for answers.
Email DMUSD board members right now. If you click on Click Here For The Entire Board link below, it will open an email from you to all board members with a link to the article below embedded and a brief introduction that you can personalize or replace with your own message. It takes only a minute.
Click below for an individual board member.
Please forward this blog post to friends and others who want to stay informed and who might stand with us. To share, you can click on one of the icons below for email (the envelope icon), Facebook, or Twitter. Spread the Word. Together we can save the fields and do justice for the Del Mar Community – today and tomorrow.
As always, we thank you for your support and commitment.
Play Outside Del Mar
DEL MAR TIMES DECEMBER 5, 2019
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Heights’ school – it’s bad numbers
Did you notice what we noticed in the Nov. 28 Del Mar Times? DMUSD admitted their field size numbers on the new Heights’ school have been wrong throughout the public process. Read on:
On Sept. 23, the district’s hired architect unveiled the field size as 79,221 square feet and the green space as 142,919 square feet at the community update meeting, which was met with public pushback.
On Oct. 23, the district reiterated 79,221 and 142,919 at their board meeting.
In late October, the district increased the field number to 83,783 square feet on their website – to try to show the field was equal to Ashley Falls (it’s not).
On Oct. 30, in front-page news at the Times, the district again showed the field as 79,221 and green space as 142,919.
On Nov.14, Play Outside Del Mar publicly challenged the district’s math – reporting a playing field size of 57,500 – a 60% reduction from the current fields.
On Nov. 20, at their next board meeting, the district removed all square footage numbers from the field size, reporting only a “9% increase.” Word spread quickly in the community that the field size had grown to 91,323 square feet! Even we thought progress had been made.
On Nov. 28, in front page news at the Times, the district architect said “field space increased by nine percent,” which the board president described as a “pretty impressive response to the community’s request” for change. In the article, the district said the field is now 76,020 – less than ever previously reported by the district, and certainly no increase – and the green space dropped a whopping 32,596 square feet to 110,393.
A careful examination will show that the district had to include some combination of a garden, bioswales (water drainage channels), tree trunks, or perhaps even a granite pebble path encircling the field to stretch to their Nov. 28 number that is still smaller than what they’ve been telling the public since Sept. 23.
The Times posted the district’s computer rendering of the site on the front page – which we found disappointing because it is a serious exaggeration of the field, even the people are miniature. It only takes 5 minutes to overlay that image on a Google Earth satellite view of the school site and realize the fields shown extend into the Torrey Pines Reserve, well off school boundaries. There are other issues, but you get the point.
It saddens us to see the district engage in this type of campaign.
Build the School. Save the Fields.
Play Outside Del Mar