Art Pulse moved closer to taking over the closed Pacific View school site after Encinitas Union School District trustees directed Supt. Timothy Baird to proceed with negotiations with the nonprofit arts organization during a special meeting Feb. 15.
The action came after representatives from the three finalist proposals — which also included Envision the View and the Sanderling Waldorf School — made presentations and took questions from board members.
calls for the formation of a regional arts council to be based at the Pacific View site in downtown Encinitas, which would be turned into an arts community center; plans also call for the preservation of the historic school building already on the grounds. Father-and-son architects James and Drew Hubbell worked with Encinitas resident and Art Pulse Executive Director April Game on the plans for the 2.82-acre site, which was closed in 2003 due to declining enrollment. A rendering displayed at the Feb. 15 meeting included 24,600 feet of studio space for artists, a 3,000-square-foot art library, 3,500 square feet of performing venues, 8,900 square feet of conference space, a sculpture garden, and a rooftop patio. John DeWald, the local developer behind Pacific Station who joined the Art Pulse project after the organization submitted its proposal to the school district in January, called it “an opportunity to create an iconic institution.”
Art Pulse proposed a bid of $7.5 million for the site, and Game said at the school board meeting that the group has about $4 million of that money now, with the goal to finalize the purchase within 18 months. Game also said she was willing to put down a nonrefundable deposit on the site. The deadline to finalize negotiations is March 2, with the board reviewing them in closed session and reporting on the results during its March 6 meeting.
With this decision, the board declined to proceed further with the other two proposals. Envision the View is a community coalition that aimed to build a multi-disciplinary Pacific View Renaissance Center, while the Sanderling Waldorf School wanted to establish a 20-year lease partnership with the school district to house its campus, with the option to terminate the lease after 10 years if the school district wanted to sell the property.