[KHTS] – The recent groundbreaking for a permanent Vasquez High School campus means more than just a few classrooms; it’s everything to the students and staff, said Principal Ty Devoe.
After 20 years without a permanent building to call their own, the students and staff of Vasquez High School could move into a new structure as early as next year.
The Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District broke ground this week, in preparation for new classroom and administration buildings.
This new development means everything to the school, said Principal Ty Devoe.
“The students that have gone through that school have had to develop resilience…” he said. “Spirit has been harder because they just haven’t had the things that are staples for most of us that live in the United States.”
District Superintendent Brent Woodard said that the project has faced some setbacks and uncertainties over the years, but that now he is confident they have found a plan to fit their budget.
The district passed a bond in 2008 that has raised about $13 million, and they are still waiting on another $14 million from the state Office of Public School Construction.
If the state money doesn’t come through, the district plans to build classrooms and administration buildings, but postpone construction of a multipurpose room, Woodard said.
The new location for Vasquez High will be next to the current campus, on Red Rover Mine Road in Acton, combining both properties to create at 50-acre campus, Woodard said.
The idea to build a permanent Vasquez High School has been in the works through the leadership of three or four different superintendents, Woodard said, but once he came on board he started from scratch with a plan that would better fit the district’s limited budget.
Instead of building the new structures from the ground up, they will use pre-fabricated buildings to save on cost.
Paperwork and legal hurdles at the county level have also slowed down the project, but Woodard said that Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office, specifically Norm Hickling, Palmdale Office field deputy, was instrumental in “pushing those papers through the county labyrinth.”
Now, the district plans to open the school for the 2015-2016 school year, or at the latest, before the 2016 spring semester.
“We already have a foundation, but now we can really develop and grow,” Devoe said.
For more information about the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District and Vasquez High School, click here.