By Christine Huard
Construction has started on an elementary school in Mission Valley that is slated to be open for the 2022-23 academic year. It’s the first public elementary school for the rapidly growing area.
The yet-to-be-named school will serve up to 500 children in the Civita development, as well as the surrounding Mission Valley and Fashion Valley neighborhoods, in preschool through Grade 5. Growth is expected to continue in the area for quite some time. The San Diego City Council rezoned Mission Valley last year to approved mixed-use zones that will accommodate as many as 28,000 additional housing units through 2050.
The campus, located at Via Alta and Civita Boulevard, will feature four buildings designed with flexibility in mind.
A two-story entryway building will house student services, a library, makerspace, professional development space for educators, and a secure area where visitors will check in. A learning complex will house 23 classrooms with a roll-up door style wall to create indoor/outdoor spaces. Preschool, kindergarten and Grade 1 through Grade 5 students all have their own dedicated playgrounds, and a multipurpose facility will also offer indoor/outdoor opportunities.
According to the San Diego Unified School District, the new school’s sustainable design, with solar power, rainwater capture and energy efficiency, will offer students an academic focus on environmental science.
“The rapid growth in Mission Valley is an opportunity to model a new vision for a San Diego Unified School,” Superintendent Cindy Marten said in a press release. “One that is future oriented, grounded in sustainability and with an innovative, flexible learning environment.”
School board members approved school boundary adjustments in April that will allow the new school to enroll students who might otherwise go to four other neighborhood elementary schools – Carson, Fletcher, Jones and Juarez. A grandfather clause was also put in place so that all current students can stay at their neighborhood school until they advance to middle school.
The district awarded the construction contract to Pasadena-based C.W. Driver last June and broke ground early this year at the site, which had temporarily served the neighborhood as a park.
The land cost the district $12 million, and the new school will cost $56 million. The project is being paid for with money from Proposition Z, a $2.8B bond measure approved by voters in 2012, state schools facilities funding and developers fees.
Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2022.
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