Hello McKinley families! As many of you know, our school will soon be benefitting from the addition of a Joint-Use field at the south edge of campus. This is a project that has been MANY years in the making and we owe a lot of thanks to current and former McKinley parents as well as staff from McKinley, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), and Todd Gloria’s office for helping to make this idea into reality.
For anyone who is new to campus or who wasn’t able to participate in various planning meetings, the City (Todd Gloria’s office) generously donated funds for a Master Plan to be created for turning the “dirt field” at the south end of campus into a more useable turf field. Amenities shown in the Master Plan include a walking path surrounding the field, addition of trees and other landscape, and access improvements including sidewalks and fencing upgrades.
Once the Master Plan was approved by North Park Recreation Council and City Council (with numerous opportunities for community input), SDUSD began the process of creating final construction documents, which will allow for the project to go out to bid and be built by an appropriately licensed contractor. The staff at SDUSD selected a team of design professionals and kept parents involved by inviting some of us to attend periodic update meetings earlier this year (December 2014-May 2015) as they worked through design and scheduling issues.
The construction documents are currently moving through the approval process, which includes a detailed review of the plans by City staff, SDUSD staff, and DSA (Department of State Architect). Approval from these agencies is expected towards the end of this year.
Concurrently, the City and SDUSD staff are working out the details of the Joint Use Agreement. In essence, the school district will pay for the construction improvements using proposition funding allocated for McKinley, and the City will provide the long-term maintenance of the portion of the site that will be open to the public. The joint-use portion will include the new field and surrounding landscape that will be available to the public outside of school hours. Several of these joint-use fields already exist at other nearby schools (Jefferson Elementary, Normal Heights Elementary, Roosevelt Middle School) but the agreement will be tailored to our project conditions.
If all goes according to the current schedule, construction will begin towards the end of the school year and wrap up during fall 2016. This might present a few challenges at the end of this year and the first part of next year as portions of campus will need to be fenced off for construction, but on the positive side a good portion of the construction should take place over the summer and the end result will be a much more beautiful campus!