The city's namesake high school, which began on the second floor of a grammar school in 1889, will be rededicated tonight after $12.3 million in improvements that include a new performing arts center, cafeteria and classrooms.
The rededication, which will include a performance by the school's ballet folklorico dancers, begins at 6 p.m. and will coincide with back-to-school night.
Santa Ana High School's alumni include developer Henry Thomas Segerstrom, actress Diane Keaton, singer Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and Santa Ana City Councilman Robert L. Richardson.
From its first location, the high school went on to occupy an enormous red brick building on North Main Street before moving to its current location on West Walnut Street in 1913. It was rebuilt after the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake. The school, which district officials say is the oldest in Orange County, now has about 2,400 students.
The new buildings will replace portable classrooms, relieving campus sprawl and providing a new central campus area named Plaza del Sol.
New parking lots also will allow students to park next to campus rather than in the surrounding neighborhood. State money paid for the construction.
From the Plaza del Sol, said Mike Vail, senior director of facilities, "it's hard to tell the high school was built in the 1930s."