By SDCN Staff
San Diego, CA–Pacific Beach Middle School leaders welcomed District C Board of Education Trustee Dr. Mike McQuary, students, and two generations of alumni to celebrate a recently completed modern classroom facility on Friday.
Located at the corner of Ingraham and Diamond Streets, the two-story building features collaborative workspaces, 26 classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, and innovative furniture. Outside, a new courtyard with lunch tables, activities, and umbrellas dramatically improves outdoor gathering areas.
“It’s night and day from our old facility,” said Kimberly Meng, principal of Pacific Beach Middle. “Our teachers and students now have the classrooms and workspaces that will reflect their hard work and inspire them to succeed.”
As part of the Whole Site Modernization project, the two-story classroom facility replaced two aging buildings and created a new and safer entrance to the campus from Felspar Street. The project follows a subsequent “Synthetic Turf Athletic Field and Parking Lot” project that replaced a decomposed granite field with a synthetic turf athletic field and a new parking lot with a bike rack, pick-up, and drop-off area, light poles, landscaping, and ornamental permeable pavers. Secure perimeter fencing has also been also installed around the campus.
“It’s surreal to be here and see these projects all completed,” said Dr. Mike McQuary, Board of Education Trustee for San Diego Unified. “This is a testament to the many meetings Principal Meng and former principal Julie Martel and I had with the community. Our hard work has paid off, Pacific Beach Middle has been transformed.”
A community staple for 91 years and counting, Pacific Beach Middle first opened its doors in 1931 as a junior high school in North Pacific Beach. It stayed at its Tourmaline Street location for 19 years before moving to its current Ingraham Street location in 1950. Pacific Beach Elementary School currently sits at the former junior high site. In 1984, Pacific Beach Junior High transitioned to Pacific Beach Middle School.
“It’s fascinating to see how PBMS has changed over the years,” said Amy Griffiths, a 1986 alumni of PBMS. “My mom went here, I went here, and now my son goes here. We all have different experiences in different facilities over the years – it’s really special.”
In 2007, Pacific Beach Middle became an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. With this prestigious designation, the campus offers Mandarin Chinese language classes and one-of-a-kind partnerships with the University of Zurich in Switzerland and the University of San Diego.
Now 15 years into serving as an IB school, Pacific Beach Middle has won multiple awards, including three “IB Educator of the Year” awards for California, one “IB Student of the Year” award, and a “Spotlight School” title by the California IB Association.
As an IB School, Pacific Beach Middle joins 10 other IB schools in five clusters to develop internationally minded people. Through the IB program, students learn how to recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet to create a better and more peaceful world.
“Better understanding of one another’s cultures leads to equity and inclusiveness, which are two of our biggest priorities at San Diego Unified,” said Superintendent Jackson. “Through understanding and learning, we can build a better tomorrow.”
In addition to its academically rigorous curriculum, Pacific Beach Middle offers students enrichment opportunities, including award-winning athletics, jazz, video production, choir, sportfishing, and a variety of other lunch and after-school activities. Funding for these recent projects is made available through Propositions S & Z, and Measure YY, which are local school bond measures approved by San Diego voters to improve San Diego Unified schools.