Learn the Facts About the New Heights’ School

QUICK Facts about new HEIGHTS’ school (current to 2.21.2020) – see “new” tab above for latest numbers

  1. In their January 22 site design, the district still exaggerates the field size by 14,000 square feet, a 20% overreach! The district continues to mislead us because by: (1) counting the previously excluded decomposed granite path and boulders around the field as grass, adding 8,829 sf and (2) counting the previously excluded garden as grass, adding 2,662 sf, and (3) counting the tree trunks as field-game playable areas, adding 2,468 sf. Those fudges are how they step up to their advertised new number of 92,213 sf. CLICK HERE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF
  2. The fields and courts will be shrunk by 50%, in trade for parking, a bloated footprint, and throwaway space not even to be used for school purposes. The district’s current plan would shrivel the fields and hardcourt by 50%, to make room for nearly double the parking (+44,000 sf), an enlarged building footprint for 30 fewer students (+15,000 sf), and a new “public park” outside school grounds (+17,000 sf) because the architect can’t come up with a way to use the existing kindergarten space in a new design. CLICK HERE
  3. The district remains silent on the 56% blacktop reduction, despite the public’s questions. We were the ones who announced the 56% reduction in blacktop, down from 49,000 sf to 21,500. The district still refuses to talk about this, perhaps because the new design is only 44% of California Department of Education minimums for hardcourt play space. CLICK HERE
  4. The proposed fields are only half the legal requirement for field space, according to the California Department of Education. California law requires at least 140,000 square feet of fields, for a school with the student population of Del Mar Heights. CLICK HERE
  5. The proposed Heights’ fields would be the district’s smallest and 50,000 square feet less than the DMUSD average field size for all district schools. CLICK HERE
  6. New PHR school gets 28% more fields, for the same acreage. While 78,000 square feet seems to be good enough for 507 Heights students in their new school, according to the district, the new Pacific Highlands Ranch students get 100,000 square feet for only 470 students – 28% more! CLICK TO LEARN MORE.
  7. Community promise reneged. The Heights’ school fields have been the largest recreational fields in our community for half a century, with the promise of the school board dating back to 1970. Unlike other communities around us, there are zero parks available to the Greater Del Mar Heights community west of I-5. The district’s current plan strips our community of our historical field space and moves Little League baseball to a car ride across I-5. Little League baseball is the only organized sport Del Mar kids have where they can walk or bike to practice and games.
  8. Unappreciated traffic nightmare. Modern studies show more onsite parking is an invitation for more individual driving to school, thus more traffic and congestion, not less; and it also brings more smog and reflective heat. A longer traffic queue down the side of the school bottles you in longer, or as we overheard one parent say: “nobody’s going to want to get trapped in that huge car queue!”
  9. Other schools suffer. We’re starting to hear from parents of other DMUSD schools – and their stories share a common thread. Improvements that were promised in the Facilities Master Plan are now already being taken away. We wonder: wouldn’t it make more sense to save the large playing fields and outdoor play spaces at the Heights and have a great school design that followed the original needs analysis and original budget – and perhaps deliver on the promises made to those other schools too? We’re all in this together – for ALL DMUSD students.