Following months of studies and reports, Hart district board members decided Wednesday night to replace Romero Canyon with a new preferred site for Castaic high school
William S. Hart Union High School District leaders and environmental consultants touted the Castaic property, known as the hybrid site, Wednesday, saying that it will provide more space for Castaic high school, reduce grading and eliminate any landslide concerns. If the board ultimately goes with the hybrid site, the 60-acre school would be made up entirely of one-story buildings and would have space for additional parking lots and fields. The district hopes to open the school in fall 2015 to freshman only. When it’s fully built out, the school would serve 2,600 high school students.

In July 2010, the board decided to make Romero Canyon its preferred site for the school. The property, owned by local developer Larry Rasmussen, is located in an undeveloped area of Castaic.

In October 2011, the district decided to begin studying a new hybrid site that combined Romero Canyon with a neighboring piece of property, which was once owned by Eugene Lombardi. Given the benefits it sees to the hybrid site, the board unanimously voted Wednesday to make it the preferred site for Castaic high school. Romero Canyon is now an alternate site should any problems come up with the hybrid site.

The district did not receive any written comments nor did anyone speak during the public hearing.
The 23,000-student school district has spent more than a decade trying to find the right spot in the Castaic area to build a high school. Without the school, high school aged kids living in the Castaic area must commute along Interstate 5 to West Ranch and Valencia high schools, which have been overcrowded.

With the notice of preparation for the Castaic high school project completed, the district is now working on an environmental impact review, a hefty document that details ways the Castaic high school project may affect the community and environment. The document is expected to be released to the public by early summer, Cole said. District officials hope to sign off on the environmental impact review by the end of summer, which could allow the district to prepare for construction on the school.

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