The leadership of the San Diego Unified School District voted Tuesday night – October 9th – to sell the property of the former Barnard Elementary School in the Midway area next to Ocean Beach. The property had brought in a high bid of $16.5 million. The sale was part of their plan to balance this year’s budget.
The School Board voted to sell the Barnard property along with another undeveloped parcel in Paradise Hills that had brought in $3.1 million at auction.
The Barnard site – 9.37 acres -is located at 930 Barnard Street, a block from West Point Loma Avenue in the Midway area. The “coastal zone” property was on the chopping block for a minimum bid of $9.14 million. Originally opened during World War II for Navy children, the elementary school had been acquired by the School District after the war, and used every since until recently.
On June 22nd this year, the Board had voted to place the Barnard site and six other so-called “surplus properties” on the market. District staff had drawn up the 2012-13 budget with plans to sell the seven unused district parcels to generate $25 million. Escrow is expected to open in late October or early November, with March 2013 planned for the close of Escrow.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Board members were presented with the highest bids for three district parcels: the Barnard site, the former school site in Mission Beach – which also brought in a high bid of $16.5 million, and the Paradise Hills parcel. Staff was then informing the Board that with the sale of the three, the District was expected to net about $33 million.
But, as KPBS reported:
board trustees Scott Barnett and Shelia Jackson blocked the sale of all three parcels. Instead of a simple majority, the sales required a 4-1 vote. Jackson proposed selling just the Barnard Elementary and Paradise Hills sites, which received the necessary four votes.
Jackson later told KPBS:
“The issue for me goes back to 2009, when I met with the superintendent and asked the district to look at creative ways to use the Mission Bay Elementary site, not to sell it. It’s in such a desirable location I believed we could find a developer to work with us.”
Barnett – who represents the district that Ocean Beach, Midway and Point Loma are in, stated that he believed that the District will end up selling one more of the original 7 parcels being considered in order to close the budget gap. Barnett has made it known that he opposed selling off district property to close budgetary holes. Now, he says, he will be ready to work with local developers to figure out how to utilize the forty unused district parcels. He told KPBS:
To do projects that would make them money and meet the community character and bring us ongoing long-term revenue streams.