After nearly two decades on the back burner, a new high school in Central Unified has a target date.
The new high school is scheduled to open in three years, just in time for the 2021-22 school year.
Cesar Granda, president of the Central Unified School District Board of Trustees, said the project is in the planning stages.
“We’ve been working hard as a board for the last three years to make sure that it gets completed,” Granda said.
The project’s cost is estimated at $135 million. State new construction funding is expected to cover about $33 million. District funding will cover the rest.
The district also has plans of building two new elementary schools totaling $50 million.
Overcrowding In The District
According to the district’s 2016 facilities master plan, once the new high school is completed, the district will have choices on how to configure the high school programs and boundaries among the three campuses. The six-year projections show nearly 4,800 high school students in the district.
The high school enrollment in the district is projected to increase more rapidly beginning with the next school year. The projected growth is driven by planned new developments, according to the master plan.
Consultant John Fairbank said the need to shuttle students between Central High’s East and West campuses will be reduced or eliminated when the new high school is built.
Parents Support The New School
To find out what district families thought about a new high school, Fairbank’s Los Angeles-based firm conducted an “Opinion on the Future of Central High School” survey.
According to the survey results, which Fairbank presented to the Central Unified Board at its Aug. 28 meeting, nearly half of the 550 respondents indicated that the two Central High campuses are serving more students than they can handle. Ninety percent supported building another high school.
The survey found no clear preference for what should be done with the Central High West campus after the new high school opens.