The Coast News Group

Pacific View group looking for ‘2016 class’ in tile fundraiser

ENCINITAS — The group behind the restoration efforts of the Pacific View Elementary School site is taking a major step in its fundraising efforts.

The Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance is for the first time targeting private donors to promote its efforts of transforming the dilapidated school site into a public arts center.

The fundraising announcement comes shortly after The Alliance secured several critical agreements with the city of Encinitas that cement its position as the city’s choice to spearhead the efforts to restore the school site, which the city purchased in 2014 from the Encinitas Union School District for $10 million.

“Up until now, we had been getting our organizational (stuff) together,” said Steve Barilotti, a spokesman for the group. “We are now officially a nonprofit, we have our board of directors in place, we have the operating right of entry and with all of these pieces we can go to private donors and say, ‘This is going to happen.’”

The Alliance is selling 100 donor tiles for the first installment of a donor recognition wall that will be featured on one of the walls of the buildings on the campus. Only 100 will be sold each year at $250 for the 4-inch-by-8-inch tile, which will be made of either hardwood or granite. Donors can purchase a maximum of two tiles.

Those donors will be honored as the school’s first “class” since its closure in 2003, and will be invited to an installation ceremony in early 2017.

The fundraiser ends midnight Dec. 31.

Donors names will be etched into the tiles, as well as a message from the donor, which according to a news release could be anything from a dedication to a loved one or favorite group or institution; an inspirational thought for Pacific View’s past, present and future; a favorite saying or inspirational phrase or anything deemed appropriate by the committee.

Barilotti said that sales were brisk in the first two days, as The Alliance had already sold 13 tiles. He said the donor wall concept is popular because it allows people to leave their permanent mark on a project that will be a major part of Encinitas history.

“It is for the same reason that people get a can of spray paint and tag a building, they want to leave a mark, but this is a little more socially approved,” Barilotti said. “And people don’t necessarily put it down for themselves, they can remember a loved one, or put a good message out there. And also, it is done with a nice finish, it will look nice and will be taken care of, so it is something that is going to be there hopefully for generations.

“I am expecting a sellout, and at that point we are going to shut it off for this year,” Barilotti said. “If you are in, you are in the Class of 2016, if not, you can purchase a tile for the Class of 2017.”

The efforts of The Alliance — a conglomerate of local entrepreneurs and luminaries — to restore Pacific View kicked off last year when the city chose them over another bidder for the rights to spearhead the efforts.

They’ve held several cleanup events on the campus, but some have criticized the group for the slow start toward their primary goal.

Recently, however, the group got a boost when it received a $150,000 neighborhood reinvestment grant from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, which will pay for a new roof and paint for the buildings, the demolition of asbestos-ridden tile and the installation of new flooring in the buildings.

“We had been working with the county and answering the same questions that would be asked of us by private donors, and we have been able to satisfy those questions,” Barilotti said.

Barilotti said the tile fundraiser would help provide funds for the group’s operating expenses.