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Board weighs options for second Calexico high school

December 05, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The Calexico Unified School District school board is looking to convert William Moreno Junior High into the city's second high school.

To do that, the board plans to expand the capacity of the Kloke Avenue campus by building additions on the five land parcels abutting the school.

If the board's plans are approved by the state, the district will build a junior high school on the west side of Calexico to serve the students who would have attended William Moreno.

Robert Moreno, CUSD superintendent, said prospects for state approval for the project are "iffy."

"Our experience in getting state approval to purchase property in Victoria Villa for Chavez Elementary has been frustrating and time-consuming. A long delay here or refusal to grant approval might kill the project," he said.


Moreno said another factor that might doom the proposal is the price and availability of land near the junior high.

"Some of the property owners or developers have competing plans to build apartments, homes and other developments on the same parcels of land that we are interested in. Time is of the essence, as is negotiating prices," he said.

A third factor that has Moreno concerned is the pending plans of the city.

"We need to work with the city on the master plan for some of those properties. The plan has two potential streets drawn to intersect some of that property and we certainly wouldn't want streets crisscrossing through the middle of campus," he said.

If everything aligns and the board wins approval to build, the new school could house students by fall 2005 in a best-case scenario.

Moreno said, "If everything went perfectly it would probably take four years. However, things this complex seldom go perfectly. The plan might work but take as long as eight to 10 years to complete. Right now all we can ask the public to do is be patient with us and see if we can make this plan work."

Enrollment at Calexico High School on Encinas Avenue, which houses grades 10 through 12, could reach 2,200 to 2,400 by 2005, Moreno projected.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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