Calexico School Board Looks at Concept Art for New Classrooms

By Mario Conde

The Calexico Unified School District Board of Trustees met in special session on Thursday, August 3rd, as they were presented with concept art of the new classroom buildings that will be funded by the Measure “V” bond measure that was approved by voters last November.

Measure “V” is the local bond measure to support the upgrade, update, and modernization of current CUSD facilities. The bond program spans over 10-12 years with the first phase focusing on Calexico High School needs. The bond, according to district, will be used to construct new buildings at Calexico High School. The second phase will address the junior high school needs. The last phase will begin upgrades on the elementary schools.

The plan is to remove the trailers at Calexico High School and replace them with classrooms so they can move the 9th graders to the main campus. Once the new classrooms are built, the current site of the De Anza 9th Grade Academy will be used to house Enrique Camarena Junior High School.

The proposed campus site plans includes four two-story buildings that will have sixty-four classrooms. Each building will have an elevator in order to be ADAcompliant.

The total funding of the construction will be $45 million, of which $16 million will come from the state’s new construction grant, $3.4 million from a modernization grant, and an estimated $2.4 million from the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant program. The District’s capacity to sell bonds at this time is approximately $23 million. Bonds will be repaid by the district over a 25-30 year period through property taxes within the district’s boundaries.

The board discussed several options regarding the temporary relocation of students during construction and possible sites for the buildings. Trustee Enrique Alvarado inquired if there was a possibility to put one of the buildings at the field next to the student parking lot. Superintendent Maria Ambriz said that the field is used and it lost acreage due to the construction of the swimming pool. Ambriz added that if a classroom is built in that location, the Pop Warner teams that play there might be moved to the 9th Grade Academy and the district would have to invest more in lighting for them to use for the field for games and practice. Ambriz emphasized to the board that the main priority is the education of Calexico High School students and the improvement of their facilities.

“This is a major item on our next agenda that will be a major topic for years to come,” Ambriz stated.

The Calexico School Board will discuss this item once again on Thursday, August 10 and the board will take action on the new classrooms.