East County News Service
December 13, 2017 (La Mesa) — On December 5th, Helix Charter High School dedicated its new Student Services building, and celebrate the modernizations of its Career Technology Education (CTE) classrooms and labs for Computer Technology and Sports Medicine, weight rooms, team rooms, student leadership classrooms, and activation of its new 2.36 megawatt solar carport.
Helix Charter High School, built in 1952 as the second high school in the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD), has undergone numerous remodeling projects thanks to the passages of Proposition H in 2004 and Proposition U in 2008. To date, nearly $85 million in voter-approved bond monies have been invested into new and upgraded facilities, infrastructure projects, public safety and accessibility enhancements, and hardscape and landscape improvements at Helix. The recently-completed phase of modernization involved the following:
- Major remodel of the old Music Building to serve as the new Student Services building, housing administration, counseling, and student support services in a central location
- Demolition of the old theater (replaced by a new Performing Arts Center in 2014) to create a new courtyard and entrance gateway to the campus, enhancing accessibility and safety
- Major renovations of Building 1100 for the weight training center, fitness room, and CTE Computer Technology classrooms; Building 1140 for CTE Sports Medicine, Digital Art and 2D/3D Art classrooms, and the upgraded team room; Building 1200 for Associated Student Body (ASB) classrooms; and Building 1300 for general education classrooms
- Reconstruction and reconfiguration of a fire lane to enhance public safety access
Facility improvements also include the construction of solar carports in the student lot as part of the districtwide solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The Helix photovoltaic installation will generate approximately 2.34 megawatts of clean energy annually, reducing utility costs by nearly $8 million over the life of the 25-year PPA.
The dedication ceremony including a welcome by Helix High School Bagpipers and speakers including Kevin Osborn, Executive Director, Helix Charter High School, Dr. Tim Glover, Superintendent, Grossmont Union High School District, and Gabe Saltzman, Student Charter Board Representative.
Other community leaders in attendance included La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis and Lemon Grove Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Mendoza as well as representatives from the GUHSD school board, La Mesa Police Department, Otay Water District, and the offices of Congresswoman Susan Davis, State Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblymember Shirley Weber, and Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
Established in 1920, Grossmont Union High School District encompasses an area of approximately 465 square miles, including the cities of El Cajon, Santee and Lemon Grove, most of the city of La Mesa, a small portion of the city of San Diego, and the unincorporated areas of Alpine, Dulzura, Jamul, Lakeside and Spring Valley. Over 24,000 students are served by the district’s schools. More information about Grossmont Union High School District can be found at www.guhsd.net.