The people of Gird Valley live here because they love it. It is a haven from the stress and strife of modern day life that would be severely impacted by a high school located on Gird Road.
We believe it is an inappropriate location for a host of reasons, and that an alternate site can be found with plenty of time to meet the needs of the district.
NOT A GOOD FIT
When Gird Road was first proposed as a school site in the 1960s, it may have appeared to be an ideal location for an area school. Gird was a dirt road at the time, and few homes were in the valley. All of that has changed in the intervening years. Now residents are determined to maintain as much of the charm of the valley as they can in the face of area growth.
One example of that is the recent battle to save the Golf Course on Gird Road, and thus prevent housing and other development from sprawling across the valley. The residents that fought so hard to prevent that from happening are sure to oppose a school in the valley, and have expressed that sentiment. A school in this location is simply not a complement to the nature of the area.
THE LOT ITSELF
The size of the property is just shy of 50 Acres, which would appear to be adequate to build any size high school desired. But there are severe limitations on what can be built on the site per state guidelines and environmental regulations.
The School Site Solutions report indicates that there are required areas that must be reserved. These include 16.14 acres for Arroyo Toad critical habitat, 6.3 acres for ephemeral drainage, and 1.25 acres for jurisdictional waters from combined agencies. That leaves just 24.31 acres for a new high school.
According to "Guide to School Site Analysis and Development" published by the California Department of Education, the remaining acreage could accommodate a high school of up to 500 to 600 students, but would not be adequate for future growth ten to twenty years hence. This would mean that the district would have to plan for another high school with more public money. Given the history of past efforts to obtain bond money for school growth in the area, this is not a likely outcome.
As will be seen in the next section, there is no urgent need to select the Gird Road site as student growth numbers are less than the district has projected. The Gird property is unique in that it is too expensive for current and near future student population but too small for growth over the next ten to twenty years.
The district is basing their projected growth on a number of factors, the largest of which is the development of new homes in the area. CATE took a close look at that information by looking at what was within the district, and how many students could be expected to come from those developments. The data indicates that there will be a total student population growth from new home developments within the district of about 115 students. View a table of this information by clicking here.
We know that the district will eventually grow beyond the current site structures, and even beyond the carrying capacity of a school built on Gird Road. We further believe that the rush to build on Gird Road would better be directed to building a structure on the Ocean Breeze property, and using the time that would afford to locate a more appropriate site. That structure could then be used for the middle school thus alleviating middle school growth pressures.
Large single schools are much less expensive to operate per student than smaller schools based on economy of scale. The BUSD needs to better understand the basic tenets of school operating costs and act in a responsible manner. This means selecting a building site that can be expandable as the district slowly grows.
The residents of Gird Valley have welcomed the improvements to SR76, but know that a school on Gird Road would mean massive congestion for both Gird Valley and those who commute on SR 76. The signal light at that intersection will favor 76 traffic, causing back-ups that extend beyond the turn lanes.
Additionally, those trying to access the 76 from Gird Road will be limited to the time made available by the "no turn on red" signal at that intersection, causing congestion on Gird Road.
It is a medical fact that most heart attacks happen in the early morning, and those who live in the Gird Valley area would be subject to significantly increased emergency response times.
Get numbers that we want to point out and write up...
TIME IS NOT THE ENEMY
Slow Down And Make The Right Decision
A new high school campus will be with us for many decades — far beyond the lives of the current population of Bonsall. The repercussions of not taking the time to consider all available alternatives could have severe consequences for all of us.
CATE believes that there are factors that make rushing forward without due consideration of alternatives is not prudent. Let's take a look at these factors.
OCEAN BREEZE ALTERNATIVE
CATE has made a careful analysis of the student population expected to be generated by all currently projected developments within the boundaries of the district. The data shows a total increase of approximately 115 students over the next four years from these developments. Combining that with the trend of new students entering the school from lower grades, or from inter-district transfers, we get a maximum of 535 students..
The Sullivan Middle School campus now accommodates both the middle school students and currently enrolled high school students. BUSD could easily build on the property being offered to them by Ocean Breeze to meet their current needs and the student growth projected above for both the middle school and high school populations.
The cost to build at that location would be lower, and operating costs would be reduced as many functions between the two schools could be shared.
Following this plan, and selling the Gird Road site would provide the district with the opportunity to receive state matching funds, reduce their overall costs, and provide much needed funds to help finance the proposed facilities on the property surrounding the Sullivan Campus. It would also mean that the district would now have the support of the residents of Gird Valley.
CATE has continued to offer assistance in locating other sites for the location of a new high school. CATE believes that it is in the best interest of the district to look for a location that will meet their long term needs, and not just the next five years. State guidelines indicate that the Gird Road site is not adequate for those needs.
BUSD needs to think of the many generations to come, and not just the next five years. Building on Gird Road is only a temporary and expensive expedient that could be easily met with other alternatives. BUSD has the time to look for alternative sites without worrying about over-crowding. They could also afford to build another structure on the existing Sullivan campus which would give them adequate space for at least another 6 to 7 years, and could be used to expand the middle school when a different high school site was finally needed.
Fallbrook tried to pass a bond for construction on Gird Road on four separate occasions. The BUSD community also voted down measure DD for funding a school on this same site. BUSD would have to go to the voters once again to build on this site, and yet again to meet future needs.
CATE strongly recommends that residents attend school board meetings and make their input known. Public input is allowed and two of the five board members are up for re-election in 2018. Meeting times and agendas are posted on this website.