Delayed Double Peak K-8 school at San Elijo Hills finally gets serious

Artist-eye view of Double peal K-8.

Double Peak School at 111 San Elijo Road has a home page and a Facebook page. It has a Parent Teacher Organization and a great motto: “An Extraordinary New School.”

The only thing the $75.5 million, 36-acre Double Peak K-8 campus doesn’t have is a school.

After overcoming construction and legal delays, the school offering a focus on music, arts and should open in Fall 2016, officials say.

Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 28, the delayed and somewhat controversial school begins to take shape. That’s when northbound lanes of San Elijo Road and S. Twin Oaks are scheduled to close.

This is being done “to accommodate roadway improvements critical to student, pedestrian, bicycle and traffic safety while paving the way for future access to the new Double Peak School,” according to San Marcos Unified School District’s contractor Mike Gussa with Lusardi Construction.

Two-lane traffic will be maintained within the work area, traffic delays were anticipated. Motorists were encouraged to use alternate routes if possible. Lane closures were expected to last through May 2016.

During the construction period, pedestrians will be routed to the trail on the west side of S. Twin Oaks Valley Road and bicyclists will be accommodated in a striped bike lane, San Marcos officials said.

Roadway improvements associated with the construction of Double Peak School include extended turning lanes into the school site from both directions that will result in widening of the road, relocation of the center median, relocation of major utility infrastructure and the installation of traffic safety improvements at the intersection into the school.

Original Double Peak sign was off by a year.

Original Double Peak sign was off by a year.

Double Peak will represent the San Marcos Unified School District’s first K-8 school. The comprehensive elementary/middle school campus, the first of its kind in San Marcos Unified, was designed to serve between 700 and 1,000 students and help ease overcrowding at several district schools.

The school is being built with fees collected by San Marcos Unified from developers affiliated with the San Elijo Hills real estate project. Earlier this year, San Elijo Hills had roughly 200 homes left to build.

The school opening was delayed a year by several unforeseen challenges. Construction delays prompted officials to push back a Fall 2015 opening date to January, 2016. Officials said the state was taking longer than expected to approve design modifications. another challenge was getting easements from neighbors of the school property.

Then, the district sued had to sue an adjacent land owner over a 1/16 acre easement it wanted to procure from property owner White-Atterbury LLC. School District officials offered $2,050 for the easement on S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, so the road could be widened. Byron White, an owner of the land, said it was part of a larger 91.17 acre parcel valued at $6.2 million he didn’t want to break up.

That’s cleared away, so now it’s traffic delays and construction as the school gets built.

While these scheduled traffic impacts may cause short-term inconvenience, the work paves the way for long-term improvements to traffic flow and will provide access enhancements to the new Double Peak School that are critical to student and motorist safety, officials said.

Under the newly announced plan, families with an inter- or intra-district transfer student have one of two options for the 2015-2016 school year:

• Their student can attend Discovery or San Elijo elementary schools, or San Elijo Middle School, for the entire 2015-2016 school year.

• They can return to their original home school and begin at Double Peak School in the 2016-2017 school year.

For more information about Double Peak School, please contact Facilities Coordinator Chad Conrad at (760) 290-2646 or

For more information regarding the associated lane closures, please contact the San Marcos Unified School District’s contractor Mike Gussa with Lusardi Construction at (760) 497-3097 or