Robert Bush 6:31 p.m., May 18
Trustees From San Diego Unified Hear Opposition to Selling Barnard Elementary
Last week, San Diego Unified's Advisory Committee for Utilization of Excess School Property voted in favor of selling seven unneeded properties for some much-needed cash.
And as we reported yesterday, the estimated $122 million deficit for next year has forced the district to sell the properties at a discounted price.
One of those sites is Barnard Elementary in Point Loma. The 9.37-acre parcel was appraised for $9.135 million, or, $22.38 per square foot. That's a good price, considering it's already zoned for residential development. It's an even better deal considering that prices in the area have sold for around $76.50 per square foot, according to one source.
It's not just the reduced price that has some worried. Some fear that a large-mixed-use development would bring more school-aged children to the neighborhood, a neighborhood without an elementary school.
Jim Varnadore, chair of the the excess property advisory committee is one of those people now voicing concerns about the value of Barnard Elementary. He expressed those concerns in a May 11 letter to school board members and superintendent Bill Kowba.
"Your May 29 meeting includes considering selling certain excess properties or portions of them. Some of the proposed sites should be sold, given the district’s circumstances, even though this is the worst real estate market in living memory. One site, the Barnard campus, should not be sold, but held and leased. That will be a better action than divesting."
Added Varnadore: "The site is the District’s last remaining large site in the Peninsula area. It’s in good condition, so its condition argues for keeping it. Because it’s in a residential zoned area, it will, if sold, be built out with an intense residential project, the kind that attracts families with school-age children. The loss of the Barnard campus would be a double hit, reducing school space while increasing density and the need for classroom space."
The board will discuss the item at their May 29 meeting.