Santa Ana Board Seeks State Funds for Six More New Schools

Times Staff Writer

With one new high school and six elementary schools already planned, Santa Ana Unified School District is seeking funds for another five elementary schools and a new continuation high school.

The district's Board of Education voted Tuesday night to seek state money for the five elementary schools, all of which would be built in the early 1990s. The board also voted to buy land for the continuation high school for students with special academic problems.

The board voted last year to build a fourth comprehensive high school for the district. It is to be called Century High School and will be at 1401 S. Grand Ave. Ground-breaking is scheduled for October, and it is to open in the fall of 1987.

District staff told the board that projections clearly indicate that five more elementary schools also will be needed within the next five years, in addition to the six already scheduled to be built and opened in 1988.

The board had already taken action on the second continuation high school for the district.

"The board had voted several months ago to authorize a new continuation high, and so last night's action was simply to get a site for it," said Anthony J. Dalessi, an assistant superintendent.

The board voted to buy the land now occupied by the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church at 2120 S. Cypress St., together with some adjoining parcels at the corner of South Main Street and South Cypress Street. The parcels make up about two acres, said Diane Thomas, public information officer for the district. She said the total cost will be about $960,000.

The continuation school also will be built within the next five years, the school board has said.

The rapid growth in the district has been caused by immigration from Mexico, Central America and Asia. The district has been growing by about 1,000 students a year, and it is expected to grow by at least that much for the next five years.

"We don't see any end in sight," said Dalessi, commenting on the enrollment growth.

Santa Ana Unified is expected to have about 37,000 students this fall, making it the largest of the 28 school districts in Orange County. Garden Grove Unified previously was the largest, but it has been declining in enrollment and is expected to have slightly more than 36,000 this school year.

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