Campus Renovations Boost School Communities

Campus Renovations Boost School Communities
Posted on 11/20/2018
Board members, school principal and superintendent cut ceremonial ribbon.

Board of Education President Leslie Ray Bunker (in photo, far left) used to be a teacher at Harborside Elementary. She recently helped celebrate the school’s modernization, surrounded by beaming students, parents, current and former Harborside staff. She said the sweeping campus renovation has helped reinvigorate the entire learning community.

“Harborside is such a special place. Really, this community deserved to have this modernization. I am very happy for everyone here,” Bunker said.

Bunker retired in 2013 after 26 years of teaching, including 20 years at Harborside.  

With nearly 69% voter approval in the November 2012, general election, Proposition E (Prop E) has allowed the Chula Vista Elementary School District to make substantial improvements to the educational environment many of its neediest campuses.

This summer, Harborside, John J. Montgomery and Karl H. Kellogg schools were each modernized, re-opening to students in September after bond-funded improvements such as electrical upgrades, undergrounding of utilities, energy enhancements (heating, air-conditioning), and improvement of WiFi access.

Board Member Laurie K. Humphrey was a teacher at Kellogg for 11 years.

“I live in the neighborhood,” she said, duringBoard Member Laurie K. Humphrey shares a moment with Kellogg staff and community. Kellogg’s modernization ceremony. “This is a very special place for me. I raised my children here. …Back in the ‘90s, this was a performing arts magnet school. We also had a jazz ensemble that toured the world.”

Humphrey taught for 23 years in the District and retired in 2013.

Schools are being transformed by the extensive renovations.
The modernization work reflects an attention to detail, said Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D. Classrooms, for example, present a more welcoming learning environment, more conducive to teaching and learning.

“Technology matters, the color scheme matters, the curb appeal matters,” Dr. Escobedo said. “Those details are very important.”

The modernization at Harborside has uplifted the spirits of students, families, and community members, said Principal Lisa Forehand. “Students were so excited to come back to their school and see the classrooms, new desks and furniture. …To know it was for them, that was really special. I am grateful to be at Harborside to be part of this modernization.”

Montgomery Elementary entrance
Prop E created a School Facilities Improvement District (SFID) encompassing 31 of the District’s then-44 schools. Prop E was supported by groups such as the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego County Democratic Party (South Region), and many individual parent leaders and community organizations.

Harborside, Kellogg, and Montgomery each received makeovers of about $12 million in construction costs, said Oscar Esquivel, deputy superintendent of business services and support.

"We thank the voters of our community who supported this bond and made these renovations possible," Esquivel said. 

Schools modernized in summer 2014 consisted of:

·        Castle Park Elementary

·        Lilian J. Rice Elementary

·        Rosebank Elementary

Schools modernized in summer 2015 consisted of:

·        Ella B. Allen Elementary

·        Hilltop Drive Elementary

·        Vista Square Elementary

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