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GUHSD Announces Construction Projects Across East County Campuses

The projects will be funded by propositions H and U school bonds.

Several high school campuses across East County will get a face-lift thanks to propositions H and U bond programs, Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) announced Wednesday.

GUHSD said that several new construction contracts have been awarded at a total value of more than $50 million, with another $38 million in bond money expected to be awarded in the coming months.

Many of the construction projects are already under way at local high school campuses in the district. The largest is a 21-classroom complex being built at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, for an estimated $11.3 million.

Additionally, a new 50-meter swimming pool is also planned for the school, while construction of 25-meter pools are planned for Steele Canyon and West Hills high schools. The three aquatic centers are valued at a total $11 million.

 Other proposed projects are:

  • Grossmont High School: A new 6,200-square-foot child development center is under way. With a construction cost of $2.7 million, the project is slated for completion and occupancy in October. Also at Grossmont, the Division of the State Architect (DSA) is soon expected to approve plans for a new 23-classroom humanities building with a construction budget of about $10 million. Construction will begin in the fall, with occupancy scheduled by winter of 2012-13.
  • Monte Vista High School: Bidding for phase one of work is under way now, with construction starting at the conclusion of the school year in June. The scope of this work includes the modernization of four classroom buildings, addition of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant facilities and the replacement of an aging and inefficient chiller/boiler system for the school.
  • Mount Miguel High School: Buildings 500 and 600 are being modernized, including three art classrooms and three special education classrooms. Audio/visual and technology upgrades, hardscape replacement and electrical updates are also under way. With a total construction cost of $2.4 million, the project will be completed in mid-August. 
  • Helix Charter High School: Modernization is under way for the 400 and 500 classroom buildings, with completions slated for August and October respectively. The projects are valued at $5 million. This summer, initial infrastructure upgrades will be completed so that construction of a new performing arts center (PAC), now in the design stage, can begin in August. The PAC will include a 425-seat auditorium with classrooms and a black box theater. Occupancy is expected in the winter of 2012-13.
  • Santana High School: Modernization is set to begin for classroom building 200 and the campus library. Work will also begin on a Title 9 project that includes construction of an announcer’s booth and concession stand at the girls’ softball field and associated ADA upgrades, including a new restroom building on the accessible pathway. A new energy-efficient chiller will be installed to replace a worn-out system. Construction will be completed in late August with a construction cost of $3.4 million.
  • El Cajon Valley High School: Modernization and expansion work is under way for building 600, which includes a new CTE welding shop, special education module, classroom and staff work rooms. Reconfiguration projects for buildings 700 and 400 are in DSA now, with construction expected to start as building 600 wraps up at the end of 2011.
  • El Capitan High School in Lakeside: A modernization project is now under way to bring a total of 14 classrooms up to new district standards. Buildings 1100 and 1200 will be completed by June, when work will begin on building 900. A new energy-efficient chiller is also being installed to replace a 50-year-old system. The total construction cost of these projects is $4.2 million. Also at El Capitan, work will begin in June to upgrade facilities for the school’s large agriculture CTE program, including a new building with three classrooms, a new animal husbandry barn, horticultural green house and farm equipment machine shop. The facility will be returned to the school in phases in the fall.

Finally, site preparation and soils removal continues for the new high school in Alpine. Plans for grading of the site are being developed and will be submitted to the DSA in the coming months.

The district said that all of the construction projects being paid for with bond money are being designed to meet the energy-efficiency standards of the Collaborative for High School Performance Schools.

“The momentum of the bond program continues to be strong with many new and exciting projects under way,” said District Superintendent Ralf Swenson. “With each day, our facilities are evolving into more sophisticated, 21st century learning environments that truly reflect our district’s commitment to first-rate academics, career technical education and student enrichment.”

Proposition H, a $274 million program, was approved in March 2004. Proposition U, a $417 million program, was approved in November 2008. When combined with additional state funding, the bonds were worth $327 million and $605 million respectively. To date, about $320 million has been expended using Proposition H dollars, while only $52 million of Proposition U dollars have been used. More information about the construction programs is available on the Proposition H and Proposition U website, as well as on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee website.

The GUSDH encompasses approximately 465 square miles, including all of the cities of El Cajon, Santee and Lemon Grove, most of the city of La Mesa, a small portion of the city of San Diego, and the unincorporated areas of Alpine, Dulzura, Jamul, Lakeside and Spring Valley. Over 24,000 students are served by the district’s schools.

Joe Nicholson May 18, 2011 at 12:27 AM
"most of the city of La Mesa," . Which area of La Mesa is not included in the district?

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