ORANGE, CA (June 8, 2018) – The Orange Unified School District (OUSD) broke ground today on a new, state-of-the-art science center at Orange High School, the first project to be funded by the $288 million Measure S school bond that voters approved in November 2016. The bond will fund a range of facility construction and renovation projects on the school district’s four high school campuses. The bond funding will be divided evenly among the schools, with $72 million allocated for construction of science centers on each campus, in addition to site-specific building renovations and seismic retrofits and other campus improvements. Pre-construction work at Orange High School will begin later this month and will continue over the next two years. The science center is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2020/21 school year.
Orange High School is the oldest of OUSD’s four comprehensive high schools. It opened in 1903 on what today is the Chapman University campus. The school moved to its current location in 1953 and most of the buildings and other facilities on campus have not been renovated or seismically retrofitted during the past 65 years.
According to OUSD Board President Alexia Deligianni-Brydges, Ed.D., the community united to pass Measure S as more people realized how each of the District’s aging high schools were in need of attention.
“Voters agreed that the time had finally come for a major community investment to be made in our high schools,” said Deligianni-Brydges. “The passage of Measure S ensured that buildings on all four campuses would be retrofitted for enhanced structural integrity, safety and security, and modernized to optimize in-class instruction and learning. Our 20th century high schools will begin to be transformed, to ensure our students and teachers finally have 21st century facilities and resources in which to learn and work.”
Orange High School Principal Dennis Mc Cuistion expressed the heartfelt gratitude that he, his staff, and his students feel for those in the community who supported passage of Measure S.
“I am extremely fortunate to serve the Orange High School Community and our students, teachers and staff are thankful for the opportunities afforded to us by the voters,” said Mc Cuistion. “Our teachers are some of the very best and through the passage of Measure S they will have a platform to better prepare our students for the 21st century and beyond.”
Groundbreaking ceremonies and the initiation of work at the other high schools is expected to occur later this year and into early 2019. The District is presently working with the schools and their respective project teams to determine an optimal schedule that would help minimize construction-related disruptions on campus and in the surrounding communities.
The Orange High School groundbreaking comes just one day after OUSD issued its first sale of General Obligation (G.O.) Bonds in the amount of $188 million. The bond sale will provide the funds necessary to begin its modernization and construction projects. A second bond sale, in the amount of $100 million, will occur at a later date that will be timed with the progression of the construction and modernization projects. The timing of Thursday’s bond sale, combined with OUSD’s AAA credit rating by Fitch Ratings, resulted in the District saving taxpayers $4.7 million over what had originally been projected.
Photo slideshow available at https://www.orangeusd.org/measure-s/measure-s-orange-high-school