Encinitas council awards architecture contract for Pacific View


The architecture firm Westberg & White will soon draw up design plans that will serve as a guide for rehabbing the Pacific View buildings.

With Councilman Mark Muir absent, the Encinitas City Council on April 8 voted 4-0 to award a $70,000 contract to Westberg & White for the work.

Earlier in the meeting, the council also voted unanimously to request proposals to find an “operating partner” that will take the architectural drawings and then be responsible for designing, fixing up and operating the buildings. The operating partner would also oversee the surrounding grounds.

Not everyone was on board with the plan.

Resident Garth Murphy said the council is putting “the cart before the horse” in regards to Pacific View.

Murphy stated the council should first select an operating partner that knows what it wants to do with the property, and then order architectural drawings. Otherwise, the design plans will be overly broad and more expensive than need be, he argued.

Councilman Tony Kranz said having architectural designs would encourage potential operating partners to apply, because they’d have a better understanding of the project and necessary repairs to bring the buildings up to code.

“A report that says here’s what needs to happen to comply with the law is a very useful tool for all the operating partners,” Kranz said.

An elementary school built in 1953, Pacific View closed more than a decade ago.

Kranz and Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer are on a subcommittee that’s tasked with developing ideas for revamping the Pacific View site, which the city bought from the Encinitas Union School District for $10 million last year.

Instead of the city managing the Pacific View revamp, the subcommittee recommended the operating partner concept to speed up site rehabilitation.

The Pacific View subcommittee has also floated a “living museum” with art demonstrations and performances at the property. But potential operating partners could submit ideas outside that concept.

The council, at Mayor Kristin Gaspar’s suggestion, said that the request for proposal should make it clear that plans from operating partners could cover arts, education and community gathering spaces.

Groups looking to serve as the operating partner will be ranked based on their financial viability, revenue-earning potential related to operations, local involvement and other criteria.

A review committee made up of city staff and two outside arts experts will review the proposals and pass along recommendations for the full council to consider, likely sometime this summer.