After nearly two decades of discussions and planning, the William S. Hart Union High School District’s newest high school is expected to open to ninth grade students only in August 2019.
The district began looking for potential sites for Castaic High School in earnest in 2002, according to an Oct. 16, 2008 Governing Board agenda item. But, the high school had been on the district’s radar since the 90’s.
In November 2008, voters passed Measure SA, a $300 million bond measure to support the construction of Castaic High School, as well as build new facilities district-wide, and improve existing ones.
“It’s been needed for a long time and wanted for a long time,” said Dave Caldwell, public relations officer for the Hart District. “Some people say they were talking about it back in the 90s so it will be fantastic once it’s complete.”
Currently, students graduating from Castaic Middle School have the option of attending Valencia High School or West Ranch High School for the following four years of their education.
When Castaic High School opens, the school’s first ninth grade class will primarily be from the unincorporated area of Castaic, according to Caldwell. However, the exact boundaries of the new high school site have not yet been drawn by the Hart District.
“Sometime before that [August 2019] we’re going to redraw the boundaries for the seven high schools,” Caldwell said. “We’ll have to tackle that and bring people together to talk about that.”
The district is also still in discussions to whether the campus will be fully or partially built when students arrive in August 2019.
“There’s been different talk about that,” he said. “The entire campus doesn’t have to be fully complete at that point since just the ninth graders will be in.”
In terms of facilities, Caldwell said the district is excited about the school’s dedicated Career Technical Education building.
“Career Technical Education is going to play a pretty prominent role there,” he said. “They’re going to have their own building it’s going to be state-of-the-art… Within the building itself it can be changed to help with whatever the need might be at that point.”
The campus will also have a dedicated Performing Arts Center for both students and the surrounding community.
“That’s pretty exciting because that will give the community a place to come together,” Caldwell said. “I’ve heard a few folks talk about that Performing Arts Center and they’re excited for it and it’s something they’ll be able to call their own.”
Recently a new website, CastaicHighProject.com, appeared online that details information about the school’s projected enrollment, facilities, features, curriculum, geography, environment and partnerships.
This website is not operated by the Hart District, but is managed by the district’s contractor and builder, Castaic High School Construction Inc. and a public relations firm, Villegas Public Affairs. The construction company is owned by Larry Rasmussen of Spirit Holding Inc.
The Hart District is working on updating its own website to include artist renderings of the high school’s facilities, information about its progress and drone videos of its construction as vertical structures are expected to appear shortly.
“We’re talking about the page on our Hart District.org website about changing that around and making that more visual and interesting,” Caldwell said. “Now it’s just the required documentation.”
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