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After years of waiting, ground will finally be broken at Vasquez High School

Posted: May 10, 2014 10:21 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2014 10:21 p.m.

Monday’s ceremony for Vasquez High School is not your typical groundbreaking.

It’s the end result of years of hoping, wishing and — perhaps most of all — waiting on the part of parents and students in the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District.

They have been promised for more than a decade that a more permanent high school than their collection of temporary structures was on its way.

“We have parents who had kids in kindergarten that were promised a high school like that when they got old enough,” Vasquez High School Principal Ty Devoe said Friday. “Those kids might be in college now.”

Vasquez High School relocated to its current site in the fall of 1999. In its current state, the high school is largely considered to be a temporary campus.

“That’s why this is such an epic moment for this community,” Devoe said. “Because kids have been promised a new high school for pretty much 15 years.”

But to build a high school meant the district had to raise some needed funds.

Several times the district put a bond measure out to the voters in the small school district, Devoe said. Several times a bond measure failed.

Finally, in 2008, Measure CF went out to voters and narrowly won the 55 percent of the vote necessary to pass.
Measure CF authorized the district to borrow $13 million.

By comparison, that same year the William S. Hart Union High School District — a much larger and more expansive school district that encompasses middle and high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley — won approval for its $300 million Measure SA bond.

But for Vasquez High School, even winning approval of the 2008 bond didn’t push the school forward immediately, Devoe said.

The passage of Measure CF coincided with the nation’s plunge into the Great Recession, which hampered construction and development work nationwide.

“It’s taken us six years since we passed the local bond to design a first phase of the school construction that works with only $13 million,” Devoe said.

The design will be sufficient to house all of the school’s approximately 420 students, Devoe said, complete with familiar scholastic trimmings like classrooms, an administration building and a library multipurpose room.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the school at 10 a.m. Monday.

Devoe said the goal is to have the school ready to open in 2015.

“I think there’s some special poignancy in this moment because of how much of a struggle it’s been to get to this point,” Devoe said. “Now you’re seeing construction; you’re seeing grading.

“It’s such a big deal,” he said. “People seeing that are going to know that it’s really happening.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney


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