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BUSD selects Watkins Environmental to handle demolition and removal of former Station 5

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

In 2016, the land which included the North County Fire Protection District's former Station 5 was sold back to the Bonsall school district. On Oct. 19, the Bonsall Unified School District board approved a contract with Watkins Environmental to handle demolition and removal needs for the former fire station.

“We cannot use it for any educational purposes,” said BUSD Superintendent Joseph Clevenger. “We are basically looking to start fresh.”

The board’s 5-0 vote approved the contract with Watkins Environmental, which is based in San Diego, for $37,460. The 0.64-acre parcel is in the 31400 block of Old River Road adjacent to Bonsall Elementary School. The Bonsall Union School District sold the property to the Fallbrook Fire Protection District for $35,000 in 1981. The grant deed, which was binding on successor agencies, included a stipulation that if the land was to be used for anything other than a fire station, it was to be sold back to the school district for the purchase price of $35,000.

A fire station and a parking area were constructed on the property. The Fallbrook Fire Protection District became the North County Fire Protection District in 1986 and the Bonsall Union School District became the Bonsall Unified School District in 2014.

The former Station 5 was replaced with a newer and larger station on Olive Hill Road and, in early 2015, the fire district moved its personnel and apparatus into the new station. NCFPD and BUSD staff had different interpretations whether the repurchase price should reflect the improvements made to the property.

In January 2015, the BUSD board voted to support a purchase price of $35,000. Fire board members threatened to continue to use the old fire station rather than sell it for $35,000, but the fire board never took an official position in favor of factoring the improvements into the repurchase price and, in July 2015, the NCFPD board voted to approve the sale of the property for $35,000.

In December 2015, the school board authorized BUSD staff to enter into a purchase and sale agreement, and the BUSD board approved the specific agreement in March 2016. The BUSD board approved the final documents to transfer the property back to the school district in August 2016. In addition to the $35,000 purchase price, the school district paid $1,045 in escrow and title costs and $109 for a natural hazard disclosure report.

In 2021, Western Environmental provided a limited asbestos and lead paint sampling report. The Watkins Environmental work will include removal and disposal of the existing hazardous materials. Watkins Environmental will provide notification to the proper agencies for all hazardous materials prior to beginning the work.

The existing wood-framed single-story structure will be demolished and removed down to the slab. The slab and footings for that structure will remain intact. An existing shed on the property will be removed. Existing shrubs and vegetation will be removed if required for demolition access. The Watkins Environmental work will also include removal of debris and cleaning up the surrounding area.

“We look forward to ensuring that that land is used to benefit our community,” Clevenger said. The school district has not made a definite decision on the use of the land.


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