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San Clemente High School. File photo
San Clemente High School. File photo

By Allison Jarrell

In order to accommodate a growing student population, the Capistrano Unified School District is investing about $45 million in improvements for the three high schools most affected by the growth—San Clemente High School, San Juan Hills High School and Tesoro High School.
Avenida La Pata, a much-anticipated connection between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, is slated to be completed in the fall of 2016 and is expected to affect San Juan Hills High School and San Clemente High School with an influx of students. In addition, new Rancho Mission Viejo development is expected to add students to both San Juan Hills High School and Tesoro High School.
In an effort to increase capacity at the high schools, CUSD will be constructing one two-story building at each of the three campuses in order to add permanent classrooms. Additionally, San Juan Hills will receive 87 new parking spaces, and Tesoro High School will get new portable classrooms and five basketball courts.

These improvements will cost approximately $15 million per high school campus and will be paid for by a mix of developer fees, land sale proceeds, redevelopment agency funds, community facility district funds, school facility improvement district funds and deferred maintenance funds.

The CUSD Board of Trustees approved the proposals for the three projects on July 22. This district is now advertising for bids.

In addition to the future high school improvements, site upgrades are already underway this summer at a handful of area schools. Such work includes replacing the wrestling room portable and adding a restroom portable with ADA access at Dana Hills High School, painting the exterior of Palisades Elementary School, replacing the roof and painting the exterior of Shorecliffs Middle School and adding a restroom portable at Las Flores Elementary School.

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