BY MARIO CONDE
The Calexico School Board approved the location of the new classrooms at the high school at their meeting held Thursday, September 14.
Last year Calexico voters approved Measure V, a bond measure to support the upgrade, update, and modernization of current Calexico Unified School District facilities. The construction program spans over 10-12 years with the first phase focusing on Calexico High School needs with the constructing of new classrooms. The proposed campus site plans include four two-story buildings that will have sixty-four classrooms. Each building will have an elevator in order to be ADA compliant.
The plan is to remove the trailers at Calexico High School and replace them with classrooms so ninth graders can be moved to the main campus. Once the new classrooms are built, the current site of the De Anza 9th Grade Academy will be used as the Enrique Camarena Junior High School. The district office and the warehouse would be relocated to the current Enrique Camarena campus.
The Calexico School Board was presented with various concept art designed for the new classrooms last month where the board was given suggestions about the location of the new classrooms. The item was then brought before the Measure V Facility Committee that met on Monday, August 28. The committee was given a presentation by architect Jimmy Sanders, who presented several options for them to recommend to the school board.
The committee voted for Schematic “A” that includes one new classroom building on the current student parking lot, one new classroom building on circle drive, two new classrooms buildings where the two old trailer classrooms currently sit, a relocation of the current student parking lot to the Ward Field parking lot, and designation of a new drop-off area on Encinas and another one Belcher Street. Additional parking would be created on Encinas for visitors and students. District office parking would be relocated to the now empty lot between the district office and the warehouse.
Sanders said that there will be a landscaped amphitheater around the two classrooms in front of the school for school activities. The administration building at CHS will also have frontage improvements.
Superintendent Maria Ambriz indicated the recommendation provides opportunities for students to be evenly spread around the campus.
“We expect eight to nine months for the Department of State Architect to get our plans approved and the possible start of construction will be August of next year if they are approved by then,” Ambriz stated.
She added the district will start preparing the parking lots so when the plans are approved, they will be ready to go. Ambriz said that once a classroom building is finished, it will be occupied.