Walls go up at Castaic High School site

Project manager Randy Wrage points to where the Performing Arts Center (PAC) will stand at the site of the future Castaic High School during a field tour on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal
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With freestanding steel structures and assembled walls, the long-awaited Castaic High School site is beginning to take shape as a high school campus.

Crews have been working on phase two of the construction process for eight months as they built foundations, organized structures and fine-tuned architectural plans.

“It’s about 250,000 square feet, most of the buildings are concrete tilt up and one of them is a steel structure,” said Randy Wrage, project manager for Castaic High School Construction LLC at a field tour Friday.  “It’s really going to be a state-of-the-art high school and the gem of the Hart District.”

Situated at the west end of Sloan Canyon Road where it meets Romero Canyon Road, the $126.2 million project is expected to be completed in August 2019 when the school opens to ninth grade students.

Currently, the project is ahead of schedule for its completion date, according to Wrage.

“It’s a large undertaking, but the Hart District has experience building schools as well, they’ve been one of the more dynamic districts in the state of California,” Wrage said.  “This is a complicated project, but the district has experience with projects like this.”

A view from the helipad at the top of the future Castaic High School site during a field tour on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Once complete, the 200-acre site will house 58 acres of campus facilities and infrastructure.

“It’s a fully-complete campus with a Performing Arts Center and all of the athletic facilities, a newly-designed STEM building,” Wrage said.

The high school will also include a football field, track, soccer field, baseball field and softball field, as well as an anticipated 850 parking spaces for students, staff and visitors.

The Hart District hopes to make Career Technical Education (CTE) a prominent component of the high school’s campus with a dedicated building for career training and preparation.

“This is also a career tech center so there are classrooms that are not conventional high school classrooms that are designed more for actual careers,” Wrage said.  “We’re going to transition students from high school students into careers.”

Tour attendees stand inside the STEM building at the future Castaic High School site during a field tour on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Castaic High School—with its new water tank and helipad—will also function as a “sanctuary campus” for Castaic residents during an emergency.

“Some of this infrastructure that we’ve brought to Castaic just simply didn’t exist before,” Wrage said.  “These buildings have been designed as sanctuary buildings so in the event of an earthquake or a natural disaster this is a place that people will flee to as opposed to fleeing from.”

Wrage expects the valley around the high school to fill in, but not be as dense as some places in the San Fernando Valley and in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“This part of Castaic is subject to the Castaic Special Standards District so it will not be dense like some parts of Santa Clarita, but it will certainly fill in around now that all this infrastructure is in it will be easier to develop,” he said.

For Wrage the long process of designing, planning and constructing Castaic High School has been a fulfilling one, despite the project’s long process.

“It’s one of the neat things in my career that I’ve been able to build schools and bridges and dams and things that are permanent and that are good for a community,” he said.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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