Dec 5 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.

John Gartman

Play Outside Del Mar