A $13 million arts and student support services building at Grossmont High School was “topped out” Tuesday amid concerns that the school district will lose bond money for other projects.

Artist rendering of Grossmont High School arts and student support services building. Image via GUHSD

On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman will hold another hearing in a lawsuit brought by people who thought an Alpine high school should have been gone up first and want $42 million set aside for a 12th district campus.

The legal action by the Alpine Union School District and an allied group shadowed Tuesday’s ceremony, where the last structural beam was placed at the top of the building. Students, staff and construction workers signed the beam before it was lifted into place in El Cajon.

“I am really excited to be a part of a ceremony celebrating the bond construction being done to make Grossmont High School, one of San Diego’s oldest schools, a brand new facility,” said Principal Dan Barnes. “These new buildings will provide modern classrooms and offices to support our award-winning Associated Student Body, Art Department and student support services.”

Construction workers watch signed beam hoisted into place. Photo via GUHSD

“This will transform the look of Grossmont High School, but more than that it will provide art students with a first-rate learning facilities, and that point cannot be overstated,” said district Superintendent Ralf Swenson. “Students appreciate quality learning environments. These new buildings will help students thrive, and nothing is more important than that.”

Judge Pressman will sort out conflicting rulings by his court and a state appellate panel — with state judges saying Propositions H and U of 2004 and 2008 promised an Alpine high school and Pressman saying no, it didn’t.

Jenna Soule, a Grossmont senior who plans to study art history in college, focused on the arts classroom building began this past summer and expected to be done by the end of July 2016.

Russell Watson of Sprotte+Watson Architecture, which designed the new buildings, signs final beam. Photo via GUHSD

“I am very excited about the construction of the new arts building,” she said. “The arts are a critical part of education and having this brand new building to emphasize this will create a much more positive and professional environment for students.”

The new two-story structure will house Grossmont’s art department in three classrooms – one for photography and digital design, one for 2-D art, and one for 3-D art (clay and metal). 

In two other rooms will be a portion of the school’s special education transition program and space for the Associated Student Body, the finance office and a student store. 
The student support services building will be home to the school’s Administrative Offices, Counseling Department, College and Career Center and the Grossmont Resource Center.

Meanwhile, Alpine critics of the Grossmont Union High School District were reminding supporters of the court session:

Ken StoneFYI; I hope that the media, including yourself, attends this Court Date to get a 1st hand view and observance…

Posted by Bill A. Weaver on Tuesday, December 15, 2015