Pacific View Arts Center slated to open in June with limited hours

A decade after the City of Encinitas purchased the shuttered Pacific View Elementary School from the Encinitas Union School District in a last-minute bid before the property came up for auction, the city announced the opening date and hours for the Pacific View Arts Center at its February 28 City Council meeting.

Hopes for the revitalization of the mid-century facility have risen and fallen over the past 10 years, but the blufftop campus’ fortunes turned when the city decided to fund the project after private efforts didn’t succeed.

Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz, an original proponent of the rejuvenation efforts and the only current City Council member who was “in the room where it happened” back in 2014, announced the item by remarking, “’Pacific View Arts Center Start Up and Operations,’ which is a phrase I didn’t think I’d ever get to utter.” Cheers were heard from the audience.

The meeting agenda report is here, and video of the Pacific View item from the meeting is here.

Dozens of dedicated Encinitas residents deserve credit for initiating and continuing the quest to create something truly remarkable that will serve the public for years to come.

The Pacific View Arts Center refurbishment project as seen from a drone in December 2023.

Here’s the story from Barbara Henry of the Encinitas Advocate. It refers to the facility as the “Pacific View Art Center,” but Mayor Kranz has confirmed to that its official name will be “Pacific View Arts Center.”

Grand opening expected in June for Encinitas’ new art facility
Pacific View property will initially have a limited, five-day-a-week schedule

By Barbara Henry, Encinitas Advocate

The city’s new Pacific View Art Center will initially operate under a five-day-week, limited-hours schedule when it opens in June.

However, the operating hours could soon increase, if the place is initially successful.

City arts program administrator Collette Murphy told the City Council Wednesday, Feb. 28, that she hopes to expand the center’s operating hours and class offerings this fall, and then again in the winter, if the new facility proves popular this coming summer.

Currently, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. expects to finish its electrical work on the property in mid-April and the general contractors plan to conclude their building renovation work at the end of May. 

Arts department employees are anticipating a ribbon-cutting, grand opening event on June 4 or June 28, a new city staff report states. The facility would open for public use the day after the ribbon cutting, it adds.

The city purchased the former Pacific View School property from the Encinitas Union School District in 2014 for $10 million. At that point, the property, which occupies an entire downtown city block along Third Street between E and F streets, hadn’t been used as a school for more than a decade.

After the city purchased the site, a nonprofit attempted to renovate the property, with the goal of creating a cultural arts center. When that effort proved challenging because of permitting and insurance issues, the city took over the site management and embarked on a multi-million-dollar renovation effort.

Murphy told the council Feb. 28 that she’s proposing to initially staff the facility with one full-time employee and four part-time ones, as well as some contract labor.

She proposed having the facility open five days a week — Tuesday through Thursday, plus Saturday and Sunday — for five hours each day. The schedule she showed the council called for the operating hours to be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on week days, and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekends.

Council members told her that they would like to see some evening hours, particularly on Tuesday and Thursday. They also said they wanted the facility to be open when major events, such as the Switchfoot Bro-Am benefit concert or the Encinitas Holiday Street Fair, are happening downtown, so those attendees could check out the new arts facility.

“I do think it could be part of a bigger, wonderful atmosphere,” Councilmember Kellie Hinze said.

Mayor Tony Kranz said he thought the initial limited hours were “a not unreasonable out-of-the-gate approach,” but said he hoped Murphy would expand the hours quickly and use creative solutions to get to that point.

The arts center will have eight rooms where classes can be held. Rooms 1 and 2 will be dedicated to visual art classes, such as painting or print-making. Rooms 3 and 4 will be devoted to performing arts classes, such as improv theater training or dance classes. Rooms 5 and 6 will have music and broadcasting activities, while Room 7 has fabric-related courses, such as quilting. The final room, Room 8, is for literary, healing and floral arts programs.

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