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Source: Grossmont Union High School District

October 13, 2016 (El Cajon) -Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) announced the completion of renovation and modernization work on the main building and theater at Valhalla High School in El Cajon. A re-dedication event was held on Oct. 12 to unveil the new facility to the community.

With a construction cost of $33 million, the 14-month project completely transformed and modernized the 40-year-old main building and the theater, while preserving some of its historical elements.

The project included the round, four-story main building, with academic classrooms and teaching spaces; Level 200, featuring the renovated theater, choral room, food services, CTE classrooms and special education suites; and Level 300, housing student support services, including administration, guidance and health services.

Modernization work also included new technology upgrades, and electrical, plumbing, HVAC and fire safety updates. Other improvements included LED lighting, solar carports over student parking, and other energy-saving measures, which are expected to offset 90 percent of the main building’s anticipated electricity usage.

The general contractor for the project was C.W. Driver, with architectural design by Platt/Whitelaw Architects Inc.

Participating in the re-dedication celebration were Dr. Tim Glover, GUHSD Superintendent; Mary Beth Kastan, principal of Valhalla High School; School Board Trustee Jim Kelly; Kiersten Ciallella, English teacher and Valhalla alumna; and Alexandra Somo, a student and ASB president. Board members Gary Woods, Jim Stieringer and Priscilla Schreiber also attended.

Funded by Proposition U, budgeted at $601.7 million, which includes a $417 million bond measure passed by voters in 2008 as well as $184.7 million in expected state funding and interest earnings. The bond will substantially complete the modernization of district schools, and provide classrooms and equipment for Career Technical Education. More information about the bond program is available at