It’s official – Pacific View Arts Center has a mission and a new name

The Pacific View project took a major step forward at the November 15 meeting of the Encinitas City Council when three major aspects were approved – the ex-elementary school has a new name, a succinct mission statement, and specific purposes for each classroom, as seen in the illustration below.

Amidst a largely celebratory atmosphere, public speakers, many of whom helped bring the project to fruition over the last decade, offered their suggestions and congratulations. The Grand Opening date is slated for mid-2024.

The meeting agenda with reports is here, and video of the Pacific View item at the meeting is here.

Here’s the story from Barbara Henry of the Encinitas Advocate.

Encinitas arts facility gains a name, mission and classroom use plans

City seeks to recognize volunteers who spent years bringing project to fruition

By Barbara Henry, Encinitas Advocate

The city of Encinitas’ future arts facility now has an official name, mission statement and plans for the use of each of its classroom spaces.

The City Council put its stamp of approval on these items Wednesday, Nov. 15. Council members also asked city employees to look into ways to reward the volunteer arts organization that devoted years to the project before the city took it over. Mayor Tony Kranz said members of the group — Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance — ought to be allowed to host classes for free in the arts facility, while Councilmember Joy Lyndes said they should at least receive city recognition for their years of labor at the site.

“It’s my view they were the heart and soul … that really pushed (the project) forward,” she said.

Encinitas purchased the arts facility site — the old Pacific View school — from the Encinitas Union School District in 2014 for $10 million. The property, which stretches across an entire downtown city block on Third Street between E and F streets, hadn’t been used as a school since 2003.

Initially, city officials vowed that the city’s investment would be limited to the $10 million purchase price and the place would be independently managed and funded, but that proved challenging given permitting and insurance issues. Ultimately, after years of hosting volunteer work parties and trying to make the aging building usable, the arts alliance group asked the city to step in and take it over.

The city then hired a contractor in 2022 to completely renovate the building to make it more earthquake-proof, as well as adding a new roof, a fire sprinkler system, flooring, countertops and lighting fixtures. That $4.56 million project currently is scheduled to conclude in June, and the place will then open to the public.

It’s been referred to as the “Pacific View Cultural Arts Center,” but on Wednesday the council decided to drop “cultural” and just call it the Pacific View Arts Center. Councilmember Bruce Ehlers said simpler was better, and other council members stressed that they wanted the place to be as inclusive of all types of artistic activities as possible. Kranz suggested adding surfboard art classes, digital editing programs and quilting instruction to the list of course options.

The facility’s newly approved mission statement declares that the arts center will: “Empower the community to cultivate artistic expression.” Towards that end, each of the building’s eight classroom spaces will have a theme. City employees conducted community surveys and worked with the city’s Arts Commission to develop the room themes, which will be used on a trial basis the first year the center is open.

Rooms 1 and 2 will be the visual arts areas. Classes could include painting, print making and sculpture.

Rooms 3 and 4 will be the performing arts spaces and will have mirrors on the walls. There won’t be room for a small stage, but the rooms could host dance and improvisational theater classes, city employees said.

Rooms 5 and 6 will be dedicated to music and broadcast, and plans call for special lighting and a recording space.

Room 7 will house fibers arts programming — sewing, lacemaking, costume design, weaving, quilting and other fabric-related courses.

The final room, Room 8, will be set aside for literary, healing and floral arts programs.

Initially, the programming at the new arts center may overlap with some of what’s currently occurring at the city’s Community & Senior Center, but that will shift over time, city parks employees said Wednesday. The community center, with its carpeting and large decorative fish tanks, has often been seen more as a meeting room place than a messy arts project area.