Gillispie School acquires new land for sports field

By Pat Sherman

The Gillispie School has purchased a 7,500 square-foot parcel at 7411 Fay Ave. for use as a sports field. The independent learning institution purchased the land and single-family residence this fall for $1,050,000.

The field will be set back from the street by 15 feet with landscaping fronting Fay Avenue, and include a playing field for children and seating area for instruction.

Gillispie’s building and grounds committee chair Mike Ryan said school officials hope demolition of the home and field construction will begin during Spring break and be complete by mid-June.

“It’ll be strictly for school use,” Ryan said. “This will give (the children) an area to run, play kickball and practice their soccer skills.”

The school purchased a lot on Girard Avenue earlier this year, two doors down from the school. Gillispie officials initially planned to relocate its parking lot to that site, while converting the existing parking lot into a sports field. However, they ultimately decided it would be best to have all school property, including the parking lot, be contiguous.

Ryan said he is not sure what the school intends to do with the property it purchased on Girard, though he said it will likely be sold.

“We will discuss what to do with that property after the first of the year,” he said. School officials met with the city prior to Thanksgiving and received a favorable review of the project, Ryan said.

“We are not asking for any variances,” he said. “It’s applicable with underlying zoning to have a sports field there.”

Ryan said the community’s Development Permit Review Committee would consider the project at its Dec. 18 meeting. He said he hopes to present the project to the La Jolla Community Planning Association for approval in January or February.

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