ENCINITAS — The group working on a long-term project at and the short-term upkeep of the Pacific View Elementary School site is having their first public cleanup this weekend, and are looking for volunteers.
The Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance group is hosting the cleanup from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 13. The group is cleaning up the plants and shrubs surrounding the former elementary school, including pulling weeds, clearing out trash and “giving the outside grounds a bit of TLC.”
Saturday will mark the first cleanup since the City Council approved the so-called “right of entry” agreement with the group in February, which allows them to access the property and maintain it as they move forward with their plans for a long-term project on the site.
According to the agreement, the alliance can only work on the grounds between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Work is prohibited on Sundays and holidays.
The agreement also calls for the alliance to provide a $1 million insurance policy and indemnify the city against any liability. The right of entry agreement lasts for a year, and would require council’s authorization to extend it.
The alliance secured the necessary insurance in July.
In addition to the perimeter cleanup, the group has contracted with a local bee removal company to remove a bee colony from the school site.
James McDonald of Encinitas Bee Co. said he would be removing the hive with the assistance of City Councilman Tony Kranz, who is also an amateur beekeeper.
“Saving these bees is sort of their first official environmental act,” McDonald said in an email, referring to some of the alliance’s goals with the property.
The alliance and the city have been negotiating a long-term agreement for the property since September 2015, when the council selected the group over a second proponent as their choice to steward the property, which the group wants to transform into an arts, culture and ecology center.
It received a $25,000 neighborhood reinvestment grant from the county, which it will use to repair the windows and reconfiguring the perimeter fence to extend around the historic 1883 schoolhouse that sits on the property.
Future plans are to evaluate the site and finalize plans for complete renovations, and fundraising goals include raising $50,000 for a one-year operating budget, and an additional $2 million through crowd sourcing to secure funds for extensive building and grounds improvements.
Once $500,000 is reached work can begin.
For Saturday, however, the alliance encourages volunteers to bring gloves, hats, sunscreen and a good pair of work shoes as there will be work done on some steep embankments.
Water and oranges will be provided.
For those interested in volunteering, sign up by contacting Joy Lyndes at [email protected].