$10 million campus underway

The Huntington Beach Union High School District broke ground Friday afternoon on a new $10-million campus for its adult and alternative high schools.

District officials, educators and residents gathered at a parking lot on Gothard Avenue just south of Ocean View High School for a groundbreaking ceremony. The location will soon be the home of the Huntington Beach Adult and Coast High schools.

"This will be a very nice, centrally located facility they can call home," said Brian Garland, the district board of trustees president.

The schools will have separate buildings connected by a central quad.

Coast High School is an alternative high school that allows students to study independently to earn their diploma or GED.

The adult school offers vocational, lifelong learning and English-as-a-second-language classes.

Both schools are currently based in portables at Marina High School on Springdale Street and use satellite facilities throughout the community.

"I think it's going to make them feel more like they belong. They aren't just an afterthought — they belong," Garland said.

The schools originally were based out of Park View Elementary School in Huntington Beach, but moved to district facilities because of the financial times, said District Supt. Van Riley. Renting space at Park View cost the district about $400,000.

Having its own facility will give the district long-term financial stability, Riley said.

"We just don't want to lease out facilities anymore — we don't want to be in the leasing business anymore," he said.

The Coast High School construction, about $4.5 million, is funded through a 2004 Measure C bond, and the district took out a redevelopment agency loan to fund the remainder.

"We're very happy that we can do this, especially in these economic times," Garland said.

The campus is expected to be completed in August 2011 in time for classes to start in September.

The adult center will still use some of its satellite classes, but will consolidate the majority of its offerings to the new facility, Riley said.

The move will give students and teachers more room, said Carole Maken, Coast High School's math department coordinator and technology resource specialist.

At its current location at Marina, the school has room for only about two computers, Maken said. Once the new facility is built, she is "looking forward to having enough machines to satisfy everyone."

"We're in very close corridors," she said. "We're looking forward to spreading out a bit."

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