SAN DIEGO - Groundbreaking was held Saturday in Mira Mesa for an elementary school that has been held up for decades by environmental concerns.
The $24 million Jonas Salk Elementary School, named for the scientist who discovered the first effective vaccine for polio, will be built for around 700 students from kindergarten through sixth grade, and is slated to open in two years.
The site on Flanders Drive was graded for a school in 1980 when nearby homes were constructed, according to the Mira Mesa Town Council.
The school project ran into delays and, during that time, vernal pools -- wet areas that form in ground depressions during winter rains – were discovered. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service required the district to perform mitigation for fairy shrimp and other species that thrive in vernal pools.
The mitigation is being handled in partnership with the city of San Diego at the nearby Carroll Canyon Vernal Pool Preserve.
After the years of delay, the school also needed to be redesigned.
Peter Salk, the son of Jonas Salk, district Superintendent Cindy Marten, Board of Education President John Lee Evans and City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf attended the groundbreaking.