New field ready for play at San Dieguito Academy

The San Dieguito Academy mascot, the Mustang, sits at the center of the Encinitas high school’s new multipurpose athletic field. (Photo by Scott Allison)

The San Dieguito Academy mascot, the Mustang, sits at the center of the Encinitas high school’s new multipurpose athletic field. (Photo by Scott Allison)

Jessica LaFontaine

San Dieguito Academy students recently played their first game on a new athletic field, constructed thanks to the recent series of school construction bonds issued by the San Dieguito Union High School District in April 2013.

Voters in the district approved Proposition AA – a $449 million bond measure – in November 2012. The bonds issued so far total $160 million.

“It was very rewarding to see all the smiling faces of students and parents at that first game,” said district Associate Superintendent Eric Dill.

San Dieguito Academy is the oldest high school in the district, which now has the district’s newest playing surfaces. The renovations were completed over winter break and include a new, expanded rubberized running track and an artificial turf field that is lined for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.

“We were unable to host track meets here for quite some time,” said Tim Hornig, San Dieguito Academy principal. “For our kids to be able to play on a state-of-the-art stadium, that will give us a competitive edge and will even out the playing field, no pun intended.”

San Dieguito isn’t the only school that has received a new field out of the recent bonds. Canyon Crest Academy also recently completed renovation of a new artificial turf field.

The bonds issued also include massive, unprecedented amounts of renovations for other schools in the district, according to officials.

“This bond program is the biggest initiative this district has ever undertaken,” Dill said. “Nothing in our 77-year history compares to the $449 million in facilities improvements following a multi-year master plan that will guide us over more than 15 years when you consider that the planning for this work began in 2008.”

According to the district Board of Trustees, the past nine months have been filled with renovations. Network infrastructure upgrades were made at La Costa Canyon High School and Sunset High School, as well as HVAC (heating and air conditioning) and field improvements at Oak Crest Middle School. HVAC improvements were also made at Diegueño Middle School and Torrey Pines High School.

Land was also purchased for a new middle school in the Pacific Highlands Ranch development in Carmel Valley.

The projects were completed on time and within budget, according to the district.

Current projects underway include network infrastructure upgrades at Carmel Valley Middle School, media center improvements at La Costa Canyon High School, stadium bleacher projects at San Dieguito Academy and Canyon Crest Academy, and mass grading of the new middle school site.

There are still many projects on the horizon, currently in the planning stages. Major projects scheduled to begin this summer include a new math and science building at San Dieguito Academy, media center and front entry improvements at Diegueño Middle School, field access enhancements at Oak Crest Middle School and new science classrooms at Torrey Pines High School.

Renovations by school:

La Costa Canyon High School
Network infrastructure upgrades made
Media center improvements underway

Sunset High School
Network infrastructure upgrades made

Oak Crest Middle School
HVAC and field improvements made
Field access enhancements to begin

Carmel Valley Middle School
Network infrastructure upgrades underway

San Dieguito Academy
Field renovation completed
Stadium bleacher renovations underway
New math and science building to begin construction

Canyon Crest Academy
Field renovation completed
Stadium bleacher renovations underway

Diegueño Middle School
Media Center and front entry improvements to begin

Torrey Pines High School
New science classrooms to be built

For more information on project time lines, budgets, master plan documents, construction photos and status updates, visit

Jessica LaFontaine is a San Diego freelance writer