OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside Unified School District board recently approved the sale of the remaining 8-acres of the former Garrison School property to housing developer Van Daele Homes for $16 million.
The board unanimously approved the sale and purchase agreement during its April 12 meeting. Developer Van Daele Homes is only buying about 8.2 acres of the total 11.2 acres of property located at 333 Garrison Street, while the other 3 acres were purchased by the City of Oceanside for $3.3 million in February for the El Corazon Sewer Lift Station.
The lift station will be built at the north end of the former school site near the corner of Garrison and Mesa Drive and will pump 5 million gallons of wastewater daily, while the remainder of the property will be developed into new homes.
Van Daele Homes has both single- and multi-family housing developments throughout California and Utah. Its closest developments include single-level flats in Rancho Cucamonga and single-family, detached home development in Chatsworth, north of Los Angeles.
Oceanside Unified sold the remaining 8.2 acres of property to the housing developer for $16 million. The entire 11.2 acres of property was originally appraised at $13.3 million.
Our initial suggestion to the city is that they buy it all and make good use of it but they declined and chose to buy 3 acres,” said Trustee Mike Blessing.
Garrison Elementary closed during the 2019-2020 school year due to sinkhole damage. Students were moved to San Luis Rey Elementary, which is set to undergo major renovations over the next few years and will be renamed after Pablo Tac, a local indigenous scholar born at Mission San Luis Rey in 1822, in an effort to better unite the two merged schools.
Victoria Mariani, a teacher at San Luis Rey, questioned why the school’s multipurpose building’s entire ceiling cannot be raised as part of the modernization process especially now that the district is set to receive several million more dollars for the Garrison property than what was originally anticipated.
Currently, the plan is to only raise part of the ceiling above the stage, but Mariani noted that it wouldn’t help with acoustics for performing arts shows.
“The current height of the San Luis Rey multipurpose room creates a dark, claustrophobic feeling which is not conducive to a musical or theatrical performance,” Mariani said.
Mariani also noted that the district is receiving more money for the Garrison property than the entire cost of the modernization effort for San Luis Rey, which is set at $18 million.
“District leaders have said that they do not want to pay any additional costs that would accrue if the ceiling were to be raised, however in light of tonight’s proposed $16 million price tag on just part of the Garrison campus and the district’s plan to remodel Reynolds Elementary with a starting budget $50 million, it is glaringly obvious that there is no equity among schools among Oceanside Unified,” Mariani said.