Board OKs design for Castaic high

By Tammy Marashlian
Signal Assistant City Editor

Posted: October 23, 2010 9:23 p.m.
Updated: October 24, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Hart district board members have approved a $4.3 million proposal for the architectural design of a much-needed high school in Castaic. District officials also said they are continuing property negotiations for the proposed location.

William S. Hart Union High School District board members in July selected the Romero Canyon property in Castaic as their top choice for the long-sought high school. The district hopes to open a Castaic high school on the site, currently owned by local developer Larry Rasmussen, by August 2014.

The school would initially open with less than 2,000 students and eventually grow to hold 2,600.

The community just northwest of Santa Clarita has spent the last decade waiting for the district to build a high school for its residents.

Castaic students currently attend West Ranch and Valencia high schools, which have been overcrowded at times.

Even with Wednesday’s board approval, Hart district leaders are continuing the appraisal process for the Romero Canyon property, Chief Operations Officer Tom Cole told the board. The district is also waiting on the results of geotechnical studies that will analyze the potential for landslides on the property. The studies should be ready for the Nov. 10 board meeting, Cole said.

Board members were cautious over approving a multimillion contract for a property that the Hart district doesn’t own. The $4.3 million proposal will be paid for by Measure SA funds, which are part of a $300 million construction bond local voters passed in 2008. Castaic high school is one of the top priority projects among the taxpayer-funded projects.

Cole assured the board that if plans for Romero Canyon fell through, the district would be able to walk away from the architect’s contract.

“We can terminate this contract with or without cause,” Cole said.

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