ENCINITAS — The Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance shared its vision for the former Pacific View School site with residents at the Engage Encinitas Citizens Academy on Nov. 19.
The city bought the beach bluff-top property for $10 million last year.
In September, the City Council selected Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance to negotiate a lease agreement to manage the site.
In preparation for negotiations with the city later this month, the alliance shared its vision to bring business, arts, technology and ecology together at the former school site.
“We haven’t crossed the finish line, but we’re the only horse in the race,” Garth Murphy, Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance president, said. “We’re collecting input to have all the ideas we possibly can, including ideas from city staff.”
Site plans include sustainable solar electricity, rainwater collection and organic gardens.
Landscaping will include teaching gardens, sustainability, vegetables and flowers.
“It’s going to be everything that we should be doing,” Murphy said. “So we’re calling it a showcase, because we want it to be a place that every time you go there you see something new, you learn something new, and it’s exciting.”
Murphy said the first step is to secure a 10-year lease with the city, then fundraising will begin to raise $2 million to renovate the neglected building and put in gardens.
Councilman Tony Kranz was among those who attended the presentation. He said the City Council unanimously voted to select the group for negotiations, and he expects the lease agreement to be unanimously approved.
Once lease terms are finalized, the first phase of fundraising will be for the building repairs. A minimum of $1 million will take care of needed cosmetic fixes.
The second phase will be for landscaping.
A site study found the highly chemical-treated grounds need to be regenerated. Basic landscaping on the 2.9-acre site will cost about $200,000 not including irrigation.
Fundraising will be done through crowd funding, foundation efforts, corporate donations and individual naming rights.
“We’re hoping everyone will find something in the project that they can like,” Murphy said. “We’d love to have it funded with $20 each from 60,000 people, instead of $60,000 from 20 people. That to us would be great.”
The group anticipates the lease will be finalized by January.