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Another Historic Milestone for City Heights

Final Steel Beam Marks Another Historic Milestone for Community of City Heights
Posted on 12/13/2019

SAN DIEGO - Two school construction projects are changing the physical landscape - and the learning climate - for students, staff, and community members in City Heights.

On Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, Wilson Middle School students joined Central Elementary fifth-graders to watch as the final steel beam was hoisted into its final resting place, for what is an entire site transformation at Wilson Middle School.

“Students here in City Heights deserve the highest quality educational facilities, and this project will deliver just that,” said Wilson Middle School Principal, Dave Downey. “It’s a major site transformation that completely rebuilds this school from the ground up.”

Wilson Areial

Aerial Rendering of New Wilson Middle School campus. Courtesy of Roesling Nakamura Terada (RNT) Architects.

In early March, Hoover High School also celebrated its final steel beam for its state-of-the-art theater.

“It makes me really proud to be part of this celebration,” said Hoover High School student, Zaira Linares.

Take a look the new theater at @hooverhigh29. It will not be complete until next summer, but it is looking good! #bettersd @sdschools pic.twitter.com/QuWAej6zyW — Jamie Ries (@JamieLeighRies) October 16, 2019

These major site rebuild projects follow 139 completed construction projects to repair, renovate, and revitalize neighborhood schools, and are solely funded through voter-based Propositions S & Z. More than 30 more school renovation projects are under construction, and 83 are in the design/bid phase.

“This is my commitment to you: we will always work tirelessly to invest in you, and to give you the tools you need to achieve your dreams,” said Richard Barrera, Board of Education Vice President for San Diego Unified.

Wilson Side by Side Richard Cindy

Left: Board Trustee Richard Barrera (middle) poses with Wilson Middle School Principal Dave Downey (left) and Chief Facilities Planning and Construction Officer, Lee Dulgeroff (right). Right: Superintendent Cindy Marten speaks to students about the project she helped push for during her time at Central Elementary.

Making the community even more proud is Wilson Middle School math and special education teacher, Roosevelt Johnson, who was named the 2019 Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Johnson, who attended the topping-out ceremony, said the new campus will change the atmosphere for both students and staff at Wilson.

“It’s going to be a great experience,” Johnson said. “When you experience a positive environment, it tends to be contagious toward your attitude and self.”

Crews first demolished existing structures on the west side of the campus along 37th Street, and are in the process of constructing and relocating the new Wilson Middle School, which will provide approximately 147,000 square feet of space and 135,000 square feet of hardcourts and parking. Seven new buildings will be constructed during this project, including a new Performing Arts Center. A large, centrally located grass playfield will also be constructed.

When complete, the new Wilson Middle School will have brand new classrooms that will support music, arts, and engineering; new parking and play spaces; and a Performing Arts Center.

Wilson Rendering Side by Side

Left: Rendering of new Wilson Middle School Collaborative Space. Right: Rendering of new Wilson Middle School Music Classroom. Courtesy of Roesling Nakamura Terada (RNT) Architects.

After the new Wilson Middle School is complete, the existing school will be demolished to create space for yet another major project: building a new Central Elementary School from the ground up.

“City Heights is a multicultural neighborhood where many new immigrants find their first home to pursue their American Dream,” said Central Elementary Principal, Elizabeth “Liz” Castillo-Duvall. “Superintendent Marten pushed for the innovative bi-literacy program we have at Central, which has helped students grow and succeed.”

Centeral Rendering

Rendering of Future Central Elementary School Playground. Courtesy of Roesling Nakamura Terada (RNT) Architects.

Castillo-Duvall also said the new Wilson campus will inspire the students who leave Central even more - by changing how they view learning.

The Central Elementary campus, which is scheduled to go into construction in summer 2020, will have dedicated classrooms and play areas, as well as a community clinic. Joining the celebration was Superintendent, Cindy Marten, who spent 10 years at Central Elementary as a teacher, instructional leader, and principal.

“'To all students at Central and Wilson, and at San Diego Unified, I mean it when I say ‘dream big,'” said Superintendent Cindy Marten. “Dream big, dream beautiful, because your future matters.”

WATCH: Wilson Middle School and Central Elementary School Students Celebrate Final Steel Beam on Wilson Campus

You can read more about the Wilson Middle School and Central Elementary Whole Site Modernizations, and other projects, at https://fpcprojects.sandi.net/.