The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board confirmed a slew of construction projects, including a new high school in Castaic, on Friday.
Funding for the projects comes from the $300 million Measure SA Bonds voters approved in 2008, and are projected to cost about $167 million.
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Construction of the new high school is set to begin early May, said Gaily Pinsker, community liaison officer for the Hart District.
“We are looking right now to open it to ninth grade only in Fall 2015,” she said. “The school will be fully built and completed when it opens, but past history shows that it’s not good for academic, social and other reasons for students to all of the sudden have to spend their last two years in a new school. It’s better for the school to only bring in ninth graders, then all the subsequent grades will follow.”
Construction is meant to reduce overcrowding, improve safety and security and meet students educational needs by converting portable classroom facilities to permanent ones, supporting infrastructure and making schools compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a document  provided by the Hart District.
Saugus and Canyon High School will get a new Arts Educational Facility to replace current portable classrooms, but a date to begin construction has not yet been confirmed, Pinsker said.
Phase two modernization projects at Hart High School, Sierra Vista Junior High and Placerita Junior High School will start in second or third quarter of this year and each include a new two story classroom building, along with other updates. Details and completion dates differ, Pinsker said.
“Enrollment is be projected to be about the same,” Pinsker said. “With Proposition 30 however, and our budget, there is consideration of restoring furlough days.”
That could have a positive impact on teacher and staff salaries, Pinsker added. She added that there were administrator cuts a few years ago and if their positions are deemed important enough they could be reinstated.
Article Source: Santa Clarita News