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Oct 26

Better high school location withheld from community

Better high school location withheld from community

Katherine Ekins Castaic
Posted: October 25, 2010 8:48 p.m.
Updated: October 26, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Once again, the community of Castaic was left in the dark. There’s no amount of backdoor politics that’s worth the community being sold out on its high school site.

This is the biggest land use decision in the history of Castaic, and the Land Use Committee was not consulted. Once it’s built, you can’t change it.

Sure, we could build on the remote Rasmussen site and spend millions extra on grading.

Drive and bus the kids to and from school? Heck, yeah, we do that now anyway, right? The one way in and out gets a little dicey though. Would you really be happy?

Would this enhance and make your lives easier? Probably not.

For decades to come, we’ll be complaining about the school’s location and inaccessibility.

I agree that the high school should be on the north side of Castaic, west of the freeway. It’s a very central location. But what was our Town Council thinking?

There is a superior site that was withheld from the community and the Hart District School Board. The Lombardi high school site would have been another choice.

The proposed Lombardi high school site is at a much lower elevation. Yes, our children could actually walk and bike to school.

Wouldn’t you rather hand them their brown-bag lunch and watch them skip off to school? Sounds like heaven to me.

The site design has multiple access points. That’s refreshing. The site is expandable. Wow — the school could grow with the community!

So why did the Town Council members representing your district think you wouldn’t want this? Like myself, learn more about the superior site that serves the community.

Go to www.CastaicHS.com. E-mail the William S. Hart Union High School District Board. It’s not too late.

To view The-Signal article click here.

As Smokey the Bear says,
“Only You…can prevent forest fires!”

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  1. admin

    Building a school in Romero Canyon is beyond irresponsible.

    Why was a better, more accessible site hidden from the Castaic community?

    The answer is always money.

    A 110-student Hasley Canyon Montecito school was considered unsafe by the Castaic Area Town Council in 2008 because of evacuation concerns. (http://www.the-signal.com/archives/3571/ )

    However, in 2010, dropping 2600 students in the path of repeated brush fires with only one public access is no longer a concern.

    What changed?

    Could one reason be because the current Castaic Area Town Council’s Land Use Chairperson received $10,000 in title sponsorship money from Romero’s developer for “Castaic Days” (http://castaicdays.com/) ? No one disputes this; it is there for all to see on the Castaic Days website.

    Many folks don’t see this as a problem.

    I do. Our children’s safety isn’t worth $10,000.

    Has the Romero developer always been this charitable with Castaic, or did it begin when he needed a favorable vote for his land?

    What is being promised elsewhere?

    When it came time to vote on the proposed Castaic High site, why did certain pro-Romero town council members manipulate the vote to occur when a key anti-Romero member was absent?

    Was the Romero property owner worried about comparing his site to Lombardi’s?

    Did he know it wouldn’t stand up to the unbiased evaluation of those expensive consultants the Hart district board hired?

    It’s simple. The Romero site is so problematic that it had to be pushed and maneuvered through. It doesn’t stand on its own merit as a rational site for a school.

    The remote Romero site is in a fire-prone box canyon. 2600 students will be vulnerable to a major brush fire every three or four years. The school board just made the decision to allow this school to only have ONE PUBLIC ACCESS IN. That in itself is outrageous and merits serious concern.

    Let’s not forget how steep the one public road in is….about 2 times steeper than the Grapevine. Our children won’t be walking to this site, but then the land isn’t close to any housing tracks.

    The Romero site is in the middle of nowhere, like Lombardi’s website says. There is no infrastructure back in those hills. Will taxpayers be funding the infrastructure, too?

    Did our children’s safety take a back seat so millions in Measure SA taxpayer money could accommodate a well-connected developer?

    Why are we spending millions to needlessly grade a landslide-prone canyon when Lombardi’s site doesn’t require a huge outpouring of taxpayer money? Why don’t we build more classrooms and modernize other Hart facilities instead?

    We need a high school in Castaic. However, we need one that is safe and cost-efficient. Lombardi’s property is more rational. It is closer to the population of Castaic and has more than one access.

    And, does Romero still cost $35 million or has it soared to over $150 million dollars as stated in the last Hart board meeting?

    site as an alternate site in the EIR evaluation of any site.

  2. admin

    I read with must interest this article referencing the The Lombardi Site, which would provide access from multiple locations. Anyone familiar with this site quickly asks the question as to why this site hasn’t been seriously considered. From Hillcrest on the South and from Sloan Canyon/Parker Road on the north this location would “Spread the Traffic” which is what we want as a community to have access to our High School from multiple locations, and would also allow students to bike to school as it is centrally located. I would urge the Hart Board to include this site as an alternate site in the EIR evaluation of any site.

  3. admin

    I am so sick and tired of reading about the imaginary Castaic High School. If they can not build a school after all these years (I am living here 10 years) then this waste of money needs to be shelved. Stop ripping off the public enough is enough! Isn’t it amazing how other schools got built so much faster. Guess the mentality is finally coming out!

  4. admin

    Thank you Signal!
    After reading this article and viewing the website, what the ?!?! is going on?
    Why wasn’t this site presented and pursued?
    The politics in this town absolutely get my knickers in a knot.
    I’m going to e-mail the Hart Board next.
    Then I’m going to find out WHO my Town Council rep is.
    By the way, does anybody know when they run for re-election?

  5. Ron Tedwater

    Really nice post, thank you

  6. Maria andros

    Great info keep it coming…

  7. RKelly

    The HS site location has been an issue for over 10 years. How many people have actually followed it or kept informed? I personnally have been going to most if not all of the meetings for the last 8 years
    (6 years as a representive and 2 as a resident).
    The Hart Board decides what sites to consider for a school. The CATC then thru public input makes recommendations. They did not pick the Lombardi site. The Lombardi site was only presented to them by an email. The Owner did not present at the November 2009 meeting. Why the Hart Board did not pick the Lombardi site is an issue for the Board not the Town Council. I encourge everyone to attend the CATC meetings to be heard before things are decide not after the fact.

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