The Irvine (Calif.) district has opened its fifth high school—the $300 million Portola High School.
The Orange County Register reports that about 400 freshmen began classes Wednesday on the 43-acre campus in the Great Park Neighborhoods development in Irvine. As Portola expands to a four-year campus, it will be able to accommodate about 2,400 students.
Construction of the campus cost $157 million. The land, worth $143 million, was provided by the Great Park Neighborhoods developer, FivePoint Communities.
As the campus was being built, some residents were concerned about stained soil that had been discovered at the site, once part of the former El Toro Marine base. Soil tests were conducted, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control determined the site poses no risk to those who study or work there.
The new school has a variety of amenities:
- Classrooms with common areas for collaborative learning
- Dedicated science labs, and visual and performing arts classrooms
- A student union with a collaborative learning environment, a library with dedicated quiet rooms and an Innovation Lab
- Design lab for students to develop their “Senior Passion Project”
- An elective building that will house a video production studio, 2D and 3D art, and acoustically designed music rooms
- A performing arts building with a 720-seat theater, black box and dance studio
- A special education facility
- A green roof that will enable hands-on, sustainable learning
- A 2,940-seat stadium with a rubberized track and artificial turf
- An aquatics center with a 50-meter pool
- A 2,044-seat gymnasium that includes training facilities and dedicated team rooms
- Eight tennis courts
- Baseball and softball fields
- Track and field facilities
- Two full soccer fields