The Grauer School in Encinitas celebrates its 25th year with new campus building


The Grauer School in Encinitas opened its doors Aug. 17 to welcome the student body back for a new academic year. This year marks not only the significance of a school that is the San Diego region’s emergent model of education, but the grand opening of a permanent campus building.

A formal ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sept. 8 for the Encinitas community.

The project was designed by principal architect Scott Thomas at Zagrodnik & Thomas Architects, constructed by Pacific Building Group, led by Encinitas-based president Jim Roherty and overseen by Mike Shamsoian alongside Grauer board trustee David Meyer. It took just over 15 months to complete.

With a design intended to create an intimate space that naturally embraces the school’s topographical setting, the campus integrates open space, the largest fireplace hearth in all of San Diego, and flowing water elements, along with highly innovative classrooms featuring the newest technology. All of this leads into a hilly, green quad where students began gathering the first day of school.

While enrollment remains capped at 150 students, the $4 million construction project more than doubled the classroom square footage with most funds coming from individual donations rather than debt.

“This new construction is extraordinary, but it’s what it houses that is most meaningful,” said Head of School Stuart Grauer.

“Our real mission has never been to build a prominent set of high-profile buildings, but rather to create a permanent space for safety and imagination in thought and action.”

Added Grauer Trustee Diego Espinosa, “The school was a stunning success even with the old temporary classrooms, a testament to its soul, but the new buildings are beautiful and the campus has an amazing harmony with its natural setting now that is unparalleled.”