CUSD Upgrades Palisades Elementary with New Heating and Air Conditioning and Implements Other Necessary Repairs

Capistrano Unified School District completed improvements to Palisades Elementary School over summer break, ensuring students returned to a learning environment that is safe, secure, and comfortable during both hot and cold weather.

The staff kept busy at the Capistrano Beach elementary school by installing a permanent heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, along with removing various portables, positioning two new ones and replacing a retaining wall.

Funding was provided from the Pacifica San Juan Mello-Roos.

“At Palisades, the need for air conditioning had been discussed for years, so when Mello-Roos funding became available, we began the planning for installing air conditioning,” said Clark Hampton, Deputy Superintendent, Business and Support Services, Capistrano Unified School District. “During that planning, a retaining wall began to fail and portables needed to be removed and replaced so we added that scope to the project.”

In June 2017, CUSD authorized Kitchell development company to conduct a series of Facilities Condition Assessments for 53 schools, including Palisades, to obtain complete building and property deficiency evaluations and prepare a strategy to implement necessary repairs and improvements over the next five years.

There was no cooling in Palisades’ classroom building rooms 3-24, the computer lab building and the main office building. It was recommended to provide cooling for these spaces for thermal comfort of its occupants.

The assessment determined that the financial impact to the District to address identified deficiencies for Palisades Elementary was $11,125,000, noted in 2017 dollars.

Palisades Elementary was one of seven CUSD schools the district upgraded over the summer, ready for students on the first day of school.

In the first seven weeks of the summer break (from June 7 to July 25, 2019), five HVAC technicians and three HVAC assistants logged a total 1,411 hours working on the replacement, according to Ted Norman, director of maintenance and operations for the district.

In an email to the Capistrano United School District, CUSD Trustee Board Member Amy Hanacek said: “It was truly incredible to see the commitment from everyone working like mad to launch this school – from construction and the committed janitorial staff to amazing teachers creating incredible learning spaces amongst the existing chaos to a new principal collaborating with her team to create the best year ever.”

Maintenance and Operations and Facilities staff worked on a field replacement at Capistrano Valley High School, modernized Dana Hills High School’s kitchen and continued work on solar installation at Aliso Niguel High School, San Clemente High School, Tesoro High School, and Capistrano Valley High School. The solar is financed through federal renewable energy bonds and the project could bring a savings of over $57 million dollars over its 25-year lifespan.

To view a video of the construction, click here

Visit for more information on campus upgrades and the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

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