Rancho Santa Fe School District to consider gym upgrades


By Karen Billing

The Rancho Santa Fe School District will look into the possibility of improving its school gym, be it a small makeover or tearing the old building down to build a new gym altogether.

“We’re starting to see some issues with the gym that are going to take serious money to fix,” Superintendent Lindy Delaney said.

The gym will be a topic on the agenda at the board’s next meeting on Thursday, May 2, at 1 p.m. The board will discuss what options are on the table and potential funding sources, be it state money, grants or a bond.

Delaney said the gym, built in the 1970s, is seeing normal wear and tear and they are starting to see wood rot in the eaves. She said there is a structural integrity issue with the building itself — they would likely be unable to take off the roof and put it back on because of the structural issues, as well as Division of State Architect issues.

Trustee Tyler Seltzer said next to the new school, the older building definitely “sticks out.” He said he is interested in pursuing the amount of private influence and support they might have for an upgrade for what he sees could be a real community benefit.

“It’s a pretty in-depth discussion, but I think we should begin it,” Seltzer said.

The district currently has $1,686,751 in state funding that can be used on capital improvement projects. The district has used money from the state on technology purchases, the turf field project and would look to tap the fund for future projects like the gym and new lockers.

“We have used that money wisely,” Delaney said. “It’s there for us to use and it’s nice for us to have.”

At its April 2 meeting, the board approved a $23,353 expenditure of its state funding for the purchase of moving spotlights, also known as “follow spots” for the PAC.

Delaney said while those who rent the PAC for performances will be thrilled to have the follow spots, any decisions they make on PAC improvements are student-driven. She said the follow spots are something the students need, keeping those student performers on stage out of the darkness and helping in behind-the-scenes theater learning.

Trustees Todd Frank and Todd Buchner abstained in the consent calendar vote to spend the money on the follow spots; Frank questioning the need at this time.

The new spotlights will be installed over the summer.