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BUSD approves additional work, time for potential Citro school soils and geotechnical testing contract

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Bonsall Unified School District may be adding an elementary school on the Citro property and has contracted with what is now Universal Engineering Services for soils testing and geotechnical services to determine whether a planned site will be suitable for a school.

The findings of liquefaction and seismic settlement on the site will not disqualify the property from being used for a school but would require significant grading and ground modification as remediation, so the contract with Universal Engineering Services was amended to cover the additional work.

The BUSD board voted 5-0 Oct. 18 to approve the amendment to the contract. The amount increased from $39,435 to $44,435 and the contract expiration date was extended from June 30, 2023, to June 30, 2024.

“We have to make sure that the soil is appropriate and safe to build on,” said BUSD superintendent Joseph Clevenger.

The future Citro development was called Meadowood in January 2012 when the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the subdivision map which included 13 acres for an elementary school to be built by the Bonsall school district.

The current plan is for the school district to acquire approximately 11.2 acres southeast of the intersection of Horse Ranch Creek Road at Shire Court, and the school district and Tri Pointe Homes are in negotiations for the acquisition of that land.

In December 2021, the BUSD board voted 5-0 to award the soil and materials inspection services contract to Construction Testing and Engineering, which has been acquired by Universal Engineering Services.

The scope of work included researching available maps and literature on the site area, reviewing documents relevant to site history and development, coordinating with BUSD officials to mark out proposed exploratory borings, procuring a boring permit from the County of San Diego’s Department of Environmental Health and Quality, drilling 10 exploratory borings to depths of 20 to 50 feet below the ground surface or until practical drilling is prevented by underground material, drilling five additional percolation test borings to a depth of five feet below the ground surface, backfilling the exploratory borings, logging and classifying virtually the materials encountered during the borings, performing laboratory testing on samples, and preparing a report.

Unforeseen conditions were discovered, and it became necessary to perform deeper borings in order to assess the rockfall hazard noted in the report provided by the Tri Pointe Homes and site percolation for stormwater management.

A November 2022 BUSD action amended the contract to increase the boring depth from 20 feet to 34 feet, increase the contract amount from $24,935 to $39,435, and extend the contract end date from June 30, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

Liquefaction of a ground surface makes that land more vulnerable to earthquake damage but can be remediated. “We have to make sure that the foundation is truly solid,” Clevenger said.

Clevenger noted that the safety standards for a school exceed those for a residence. “This is a standard practice,” he said.


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