The oldest school in San Diego’s East County is getting a major upgrade: a $26 million complex that will house performing arts programs including dance, theater, choir, and music.
Grossmont High School – which will turn 100 years old in 2020 – broke ground this week on the site of what will be transformed into the state-of-the-art Event Center at Grossmont, slated to open by the fall of next year.
The project was funded by two bond measures passed by voters: Proposition U, passed in November 2008, and Measure BB, approved by East County voters in 2016. It’s the latest project of a master plan for the high school, which certainly could use some new amenities.
“We’re just so blessed to have been supported by our voters through our bond measures to be able to renovate and revitalize our campus here, coming up on its 100th birthday,” said Dr. Tim Glover, Superintendent of the Grossmont Unified High School District.
Glover told NBC 7 the impact of building a facility like this at GUHSD’s flagship school is “tremendous,” as large-scale renovation projects don’t happen often at public schools.
“It’s a very special time for this school, and these students,” he added.
Dance student Alondra Guardado said she’s looking forward to using the space to pursue her passion for performing arts.
“It’s been a while since we had a new building and the fact that we’re going to have a new theater and new dance room, it’s going to help us portray our dances to our friends and family very nicely,” she told NBC 7.
Guardado also sees the Event Center as a gift to future Foothillers.
“It’s nice to see that newer students are going to have this chance to have better classrooms and a better space to portray their emotions through these outlets,” she added.
According to the district, the new facility replaces outdated performing arts facilities that no longer meet the needs of the campus. The complex will also be used as a venue for workshops, conference, special events and as a board room for GUHSD trustees.
Bells and whistles include an auditorium with seating for 475, dedicated studios for dance and choral students, a digital music classroom, a green room, a dressing room, and indoor and outdoor learning spaces.
The project is being constructed with “green” features in mind, including high-efficiency fixtures, drought-tolerant landscaping, and something called a “cool roof,” which will help reflect more light and absorb less heat than a traditional roof.
Glover said the project – from the ground up – is a community affair.
“Over half of the construction firms that are working on the project, they actually exist and work here in East County,” he explained. “So, it’s our moms and our dads helping build our school.”
Grossmont High School, located at 1100 Murray Dr., was established in 1920 – the same year as the GUHSD. Today, the school serves approximately 2,800 students in grades nine through 12.
To read more about the plans for using Prop U and Measure BB to “build a new Grossmont,” click here.