ENCINITAS - The auction of the old Pacific View Elementary site is moving forward despite protests at Tuesday's school board meeting.
Nearly 100 people attended the Encinitas Union School District's board meeting in an attempt to convince the trustees to postpone or stop the auction of the property. The opponents of the auction asked district leaders to keep the space public.
"This was a gift from the public, by the community to the school district and it's time for the school district to reciprocate," said a speaker.
Lucille Noden, an Encinitas student, said the area needs a cultural center.
"We would love to have a place where we can go on weekends and after school," she said. "Many adults are always telling their kids to preserve our city,now we are asking you to help protect what is ours."
The land was deeded to the district in the late 1800's as a gift to the children. Pacific View Elementary closed a decade ago. Since then, the 2.8 acre lot has become littered with trash, graffiti and broken windows.
"We all know when something precious dies, it doesn't come back," said Scott Chatfield who is leading the effort to try to stop the auction. His website, savepacificview.org generated more than 500 emails from citizens who want the district and the city to work out a compromise. "The last decade has just been wretched for trying to get this thing done."
Chatfield said auctioning the ocean front property would be the equivalent of a death sentence for one of the region's premiere ocean front spots.
"To sell out now, because of exhaustion and budget issues is wrong," he said.
The trustees told the group to share their concerns at Wednesday night's City Council meeting. The auction is planned for Tuesday, Mar. 25 at a minimum bid of $9.5 million.