Friday, September 5, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-15 School Year!

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year! I look forward to another exciting and educationally rewarding school year in the Grossmont District. It is my privilege to continue to serve the students and families of this wonderful district as I enter my fifth year as Superintendent.

As we welcomed your students back to school this week, we reaffirmed our commitment to making your child’s educational experience the best it can possibly be. We share a common vision with our parent and community partners to provide an educational experience that builds on our students’ strengths, that encourages them to pursue their dreams, and that will enable them to move on after high school equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and leadership qualities to be successful.

I feel a deep sense of pride in our strong reputation as a school district. A Grossmont Union education is designed to prepare all of our graduates to be college and career ready. In the months ahead we will continue to infuse the new Common Core State Standards into our instructional program, to provide an ever increasing number of our students with the rigorous academic offerings needed to gain admittance to the UC-CSU system, to expand the Career Technical Education offerings across the district, and to build and renovate outstanding facilities in support of our mission to provide greater results for our students.

Whether you are a long-time member of our school district community or new to Grossmont Union, you will see reflected in my weekly communications, a deep commitment by our staff toward excellence and a strong desire to deliver our very best each day.

Construction teams have been busy in preparation for our students’ return. Following, is a bond program spotlight on the new physical education building that was recently completed at El Capitan High School as well as an update on the many other Proposition H/U school bond projects from around the district.



A ribbon cutting ceremony marks the completion of the new physical education building
On August 29, the District celebrated the completion of the new physical education building at El Capitan High School with a ribbon-cutting and building dedication ceremony.

The new 18,405-square-foot facility replaces a dilapidated locker room building that served the campus for 55 years. The modern facility features boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, showers, wrestling/aerobics room, fitness/weight room, team rooms, training room and coaches’ offices. The project included demolition of the old locker room building, new basketball courts, multiple shade structures for outdoor fitness, a new sand volleyball court and site landscaping.

The dedication event included remarks by Superintendent Swenson, El Capitan Principal Laura Whitaker, Athletic Director Sandy Martinez and Governing Board President Robert Shield. Football players, dance and cheer team members, and other student athletes took part in the event, lifting weights in the new weight room and performing in the new aerobics room. Enjoy your new building, Vaqueros! 

Chaparral – Construction has been completed on two new Career Technical Education (CTE) classroom buildings, with a construction cost of $10 million. The CTE classrooms will house the campus’ culinary arts, construction tech, art, science, floral design and cosmetology programs.

El Cajon Valley – The new two-story Physical Education facility has opened to students as crews wrap up remaining work on the $6.4 million project in October. The project also includes demolition of the 60-year-old structures that previously served as the boys and girls P.E. buildings.

ELITE Academy – Construction is complete on the new special education facility on the district’s former Work Training Center site. The two custom modular buildings, totaling 23,000 square feet, feature seven classrooms, administrative offices, kitchen, fitness center, multi-purpose/gathering room and separate restroom buildings. The project had a construction cost of $5.6 million.

Granite Hills – Work has begun on the new Student Support Building. The first phase includes removal of hazardous materials, demolition of Buildings 90 and 100, and electrical/utility upgrades. Modernization plans for Buildings 30 and 80 have been submitted to the California Division of the State Architect (DSA) for review.

Grossmont – Grading and demolition work is underway in preparation of the new Student Support Services and Arts Classroom Buildings. Construction is expected to begin in May/June 2015.
Helix Charter – Modernization work is underway on the Physical Education buildings, as well as the pool and pool deck areas. The projects are expected to be completed by mid-September.

Monte Vista – The old Physical Education building is currently being remodeled in order to make way for a new $6.3 million P.E. facility, which should be completed for the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Planning is also underway for a “summer sprint” in 2015, to include Buildings 700, 800 and 800-A, which house the school kitchen, music program and CTE classrooms for automotive and metals.

Mount Miguel – Final punch-list items are being completed for the modernization of Building 700 West. The $5.6 million project includes performing arts classrooms, a black box theater, choir room, band room, ASB offices and a kitchen modernization.

Santana – Construction has begun to modernize three classroom buildings, with a construction cost of $6.3 million. The project includes Building 400 (culinary arts and video production classrooms), Building 500 (weight room/gymnastics classroom) and Building 700 (two special education suites, 3D/2D art classroom with an outdoor kiln, nurse’s suite, psychologist and speech therapist rooms, and two restrooms).  Completion is scheduled for December.

Steele Canyon – Crews have completed the installation of 60-foot safety nets on the varsity baseball field and a new 5,000-square-foot athletic storage facility is currently in design. These were not bond-funded projects.

Valhalla – Modernization of the four-story Main Building is currently in DSA for review. Construction is anticipated in 2015-2016. The project will include approximately 50 classrooms, as well as restrooms and new administrative and guidance counselor offices.

West Hills – The design phase is approximately 50% complete for modernization of the special education suites and ADA upgrades. Construction is expected to begin in June 2015.

Deferred Maintenance – New roofing has been installed on El Capitan’s Buildings 400 and 500, as well as the warehouse building at Helix Charter. Hazardous materials abatement is now underway for El Capitan’s concession building.