View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

The Castaic high search is over

William S. Hart Union High School District board chooses Romero Canyon as its site

Posted: July 14, 2010 10:46 p.m.
Updated: July 15, 2010 4:30 a.m.
Tracy Lund, of Lund & Associates Engineering, speaks at Wednesday’s William S. Hart Union High School District meeting. Tracy Lund, of Lund & Associates Engineering, speaks at Wednesday’s William S. Hart Union High School District meeting.
Tracy Lund, of Lund & Associates Engineering, speaks at Wednesday’s William S. Hart Union High School District meeting.
Castaic residents in attendance for William S. Hart Union High School District’s board meeting Wednesday, which was held in Golden Valley High School’s theater, listen as school officials, consultants and members of the community debate two potential sites for a Castaic high school. Castaic residents in attendance for William S. Hart Union High School District’s board meeting Wednesday, which was held in Golden Valley High School’s theater, listen as school officials, consultants and members of the community debate two potential sites for a Castaic high school.
Castaic residents in attendance for William S. Hart Union High School District’s board meeting Wednesday, which was held in Golden Valley High School’s theater, listen as school officials, consultants and members of the community debate two potential sites for a Castaic high school.
A A A

Romero Canyon is the Hart district’s preferred site for a high school in Castaic, board members unanimously decided late Wednesday night.

The 5-0 vote means the William S. Hart Union High School District will begin a preliminary environmental impact report on the Castaic property owned by local developer Larry Rasmussen.

The study will also address issues with grading and potential landslides, which were brought up by a series of consultant reports also presented Wednesday before the board vote. The board also voted to begin negotiations with Rasmussen to discuss the property’s cost and how soon a school could be built on the land.

The board selected the Romero Canyon property over the Hasley/Sloan site, which is owned by the SCV Facilities Foundation.

The decision caps off a nearly decade-long search to build a much-needed high school in Castaic. The community currently lacks a high school of its own. As a result, high school students living in Castaic have been shuffled between West Ranch and Valencia high schools.

Before the vote, a series of independent reports did not show any significant issues with the two sites being considered for a high school in Castaic, consultants told Hart board members.

A high school could also be built on the Romero Canyon and Hasley/Sloan properties in time for the Hart district’s goal of opening Castaic high school by fall 2013, which is in line with the Hart district’s goal.

However, the reports presented were only preliminary, and the board will need to go through extensive studies — including an environmental impact report — once a final site is named. In voting to support the Romero Canyon property, the board also authorized starting the California Environmental Quality Assessment analysis.

In the district’s latest effort to construct a school, the board narrowed down the list of potential sites to Hasley/Sloan and Romero Canyon.

Earlier in the year, the board hired a series of consultants and experts to analyze any “fatal flaws,” which are defined as significant issues that would greatly impact the district’s timeline or cost the district too much money.

Following the reports, the board received an indication of some of the problems ahead. The Romero Canyon property needs significant grading, and the site could generate landslides, according to the consultant reports. The Hasley/Sloan site could be faced with environmental challenges, like flooding, and comes with opposition from neighbors.

Hunt Braly, a local attorney who represents residents living near the Hasley/Sloan site, brought up the neighborhood’s concerns in his address to the board.

Braly brought up issues with the money and time needed to build a bridge over Hasley Canyon Road, along with issues of flooding.

He added that his clients would not cooperate with the district if they proceeded with Hasley/Sloan given that the site was considered for a high school in 2002.

“It wasn’t good then, and it’s not good now,” he said.

Yet the SCV Facilities Foundation defended the property and asked the board to focus on the consultants reports.

“Most important is that you turn to the consultants that you have retained for their objectivity, neutrality and expertise,” said Gary Condie, vice president of the organization.

Flo Lawrence, member of the Castaic Area Town Council, thanked the district for proceeding with the two sites.

In his address, Lawrence offered support for the Romero Canyon property, which has been endorsed by the advisory group.

“I think this is a guy who can get the job done,” Lawrence said, referring to Rasmussen.

He encouraged the Hart district to continue moving forward with the construction of a high school.

“I challenge you to seize the opportunity,” he said.

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...