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Ocean View School District to demolish vacant Park View School

Ocean View School District workers remove graffiti at Park View School on Wednesday in Huntington Beach.
Ocean View School District workers, Gabriel Santos, center, Scott Le, left, and Luis Camarena, right, remove graffiti at Park View School on Wednesday in Huntington Beach. The Ocean View School District Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to demolish Park View School, which has been closed since the 1980s.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Ocean View School District Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to demolish and abate vacant Park View School, clearing out an area that has been largely vacant since the 1980s and subject to graffiti and loitering.

The board voted 4-1, with trustee Norm Westwell voting no, to accept a bid of nearly $2.6 million by Spec Construction Co.

Park View is located at 16666 Tunstall Lane in Huntington Beach, adjacent to Murdy Park and the Ocean View Little League fields. It is the district’s largest school site in terms of square footage and once served students in kindergarten through eighth grade, but it closed 1988 in due to declining enrollment.

The Huntington Beach Union High School District was using it as an adult school site but stopped doing that several years ago.

“I’ve been on the board since 2012, and since being on the board I have seen Park View deteriorate,” OVSD board President Gina Clayton-Tarvin said. “The buildings themselves are standing, but I would say they’re in great disrepair. I would say that inside, there’s quite a bit of asbestos and it needs to be remediated.

“The building itself is dilapidated, and the playground equipment outside is completely destroyed. That property has become a blight on Huntington Beach, and so I really want to see it go.”

Graffiti and trash at Park View School on Wednesday in Huntington Beach.
Graffiti and trash at Park View School on Wednesday in Huntington Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Assistant Supt. Keith Farrow said an industrial hygienist will be available throughout the project to make sure it’s done correctly.

Clayton-Tarvin said in the past, the district has hired private security to guard the school site because vandals were stealing parts of the heating and ventilating systems, as well as plumbing. She added that coyotes have been known to roam the facility.

Trustee John Briscoe said he considers the school site a public nuisance.

“People go in there and steal the copper, they go in and hang out inside of the building so that nobody can see them,” Briscoe said. “We were using it for storage, and they were stealing our goods.”

Clayton-Tarvin said she hopes to redo the parking lots and possibly add a couple of baseball fields to the area. The city of Huntington Beach recently made improvements at the adjacent Murdy Community Center.

“It’s going to be more green space for Huntington Beach residents,” she said.

An aged and weathered swing set where kindergarteners once played at Park View School in Huntington Beach.
An aged and weathered swing set where kindergarteners once played at Park View School on Wednesday in Huntington Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Also Tuesday night, the Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to renew a ground lease of 1.91 acres of vacant property to ActivCare. The land in question is at Heil Avenue and Beach Boulevard, in Westminster, and a project has been approved by the Westminster Planning Commission.

Ocean View School District Supt. Carol Hansen said that ActivCare has agreed to front the money for the demolition of Park View, in exchange for the district’s lease with them.

“We’ve already gone through some processes with the city of Westminster to ensure that everything is underway to start that project and have engaged with the community there to alert them and let them know that this is happening,” Hansen said.

Mesa View next in line for modernization

The board voted to continue with plans to modernize Mesa View Middle School in Huntington Beach during the 2023-24 school year.

A presentation by Farrow noted that Mesa View is the largest school site with a gym in the district and has experienced the least amount of enrollment drop. It is also home to the district’s GATE magnet program.

It would be the third of the district’s four middle schools to be modernized through Measure R funds. A modernization of Marine View was completed last year and Vista View is currently being renovated this school year.

Star View Elementary in Midway City is scheduled to be modernized in 2022-23.

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