Community: Residents can make their voice heard at the Hart district office

By Tammy Marashlian
Signal Assistant City Editor
661-259-1234 x525
March 1, 2011

Editor’s note: The scoping meeting for Castaic high school is Tuesday night, March 8, NOT tonight. The Signal regrets the error.

With the Hart district’s goal to open the Castaic high school by 2014, the local community will be able to offer input on the project for the much-needed high school during a special meeting Tuesday.

The scoping meeting is the William S. Hart Union High School District’s latest move in building a high school that the Castaic community has spent a decade waiting for.

Current high school students living in Castaic attend West Ranch and Valencia high schools, creating overcrowding problems. In 2008, local voters passed Measure SA, a $300 million construction bond to build the school.

Tammy O’Connor is one Castaic parent waiting for the school.

The Castaic high school won’t open in time for her son, who is scheduled to attend Valencia High as a freshman next year. She’s hoping her fourth-grader at Castaic Elementary School will one day attend the school.

“I would just like to see it built,” she said.

And if Romero Canyon doesn’t work for whatever reason, she hopes the Hart district has a backup plan.

Given the Hart district’s recent progress, O’Connor said she has a little more confidence that the school will be built. But she’s still hesitant.

“I kind of take it with a grain of salt,” she said. “I just hope it really goes this time,” she said. “I’d like to see it really happen.”

Along with the scoping meeting, the Hart district has issued its notice of preparation for Castaic high school. The 11-page public document outlines the Hart district’s plan for the high school at Romero Canyon, which is described as “hilly and rugged with steep natural slopes.”

The entire Romero Canyon property is 113 acres, but the school campus would only be about 55 acres, according to the document. A separate area of the campus would be used for water tanks, overflow parking and a helipad, which would be used for emergency services only.

The Hart district plans to open Castaic high school by fall 2014 with ninth-graders.

A grade will be added every year until it becomes a 9-12 high school serving 2,600 students.

The Hart district is also moving forward with plans for an environmental impact review on Romero Canyon.

The lengthy analysis will cover the effects of Castaic high school’s construction on air quality, traffic and wildlife habitats in the rural Castaic neighborhood.

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