March 30, 2001

Sweetwater Breaks Ground for First High School in 11 Years

On Wednesday, March 28, dignitaries from the Sweetwater District, San Ysidro School District, Southwestern College and San Diego State University came together for a ceremonial groundbreaking of a new high school on Otay Mesa.

The school—which is partly funded through Proposition BB bond money—is Sweetwater's 12th high school and the first built in the last 11 years. " We've been waiting a long time to have a high school in the San Ysidro community. And I think all of us will see that it's been worth the wait," says Sweetwater Board President Bob Griego.

Designed to serve 2,500 students—by the architectural firm of Martinez and Cutri—the $50 million campus is expected to open in the year 2002. Construction is being overseen by engineering contractors Rudolph and Sletten.

Located on almost 40 acres, this state-of-the-art high school will include Internet access in every classroom, a performing arts center with a capacity of 600, and an education/technology complex. Also, there will be a gymnasium and playing fields.

The new school represents a unique partnership among Sweetwater, Southwestern and San Diego State known as the Center for International Education Synergy. Both Southwestern and San Diego State will conduct classes on the high school campus, and additional class space is reserved for local businesses to teach career skills. For example, Mission Federal Credit Union will have a training center—a full-fledged operating branch to give students a truly "hands-on" school-to-career experience.

This strong partnership is spearheading efforts to provide a seamless curriculum beginning with grade nine and extending through the university level. The plan is to focus on advanced preparation tied closely to the economic growth of San Diego County in areas such as biotechnology, manufacturing, engineering technology, international business and environmental science.

According to Sweetwater Superintendent Ed Brand, "Through this partnership, we are creating a national model for cooperative education."

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