By Steve Prince, Principal

Who doesn’t love a good site blast and the smell of dynamite in the morning!? Over the past few weeks, San Marcos USD’s New K-8 School site has been getting blasted in preparation for construction. The first challenge was finding an appropriate site; there weren’t many 18-acre sites available in the area, and the selected site is primarily on top of the Twin Oaks/San Elijo Hills Road region which is made up of mostly dense metamorphic volcanic rock that must be blasted down to the approved design grades. To blast such a large amount of the site, the grading contract must drill a 4” diameter hole anywhere from 3-30 feet deep at 8-10 feet on center grids, then fill the hole with a combination of dynamite, fertilizer and diesel oil. The blast team also coordinates a level of safety that includes shutting down all adjacent roads to traffic and keeping all observers far from the blast zone. And when the blast hits, the ground shakes and rocks fly beyond the property line!

This new $51.5 M, 120,000-SF K-8 school includes classrooms, administration area, library, multipurpose room and a gymnasium and will serve up to 1,200 K-8 students in the growing San Elijo Hills Community located in the City of San Marcos, just north of San Diego. Despite the challenges of preparing a complicated site, the project will be seeking DSA HPI grant approval for high performance and will be the first school to support San Marcos USD’s emerging S.T.E.A.M. program. It will also be the school that James Krueger, senior project designer for the project, will be sending his kids to, which makes this a very personal project for all of us.