Coachella Valley Unified School District
Ongoing construction of an administrative complex in the Coachella Valley district (rendering, above) has prompted officials to temporarily relocate nearby La Familia High School.

California district temporarily relocates high school because of nearby construction

Jan. 13, 2017
Construction of Coachella Valley district administration facilities is too disruptive to students and staff at La Familia High.

The Coachella Valley (Calif.) Unified School District has decided to relocate its alternative high school temporarily while the district's administrative facilities are being constructed nearby.

The Desert Sun reports that students and staff at La Familia High School in Thermal, Calif., will be moved to the Coachella Valley High School campus in February because of safety concerns.

District officials began receiving complaints more than six months ago from parents and teachers. Blanca Hall, board president, says newly elected board members who took office in December decided students needed to be relocated as soon as possible.

"The ground was shaking, the pipes were busted, the road in front of the school was torn apart. We had to bring in bottled water, kids had to use the restroom at a different facility, the dust was terrible," says Hall. "It was just not a safe or pleasant place to learn."

La Familia High School is next to the district office, which is being rebuilt. In November, the district unveiled a $10.4 million transportation center, the first building to be completed in the two-phase, $60-million construction project. The education complex also will have a two-story administration building and facilities for the technology department, warehousing and nutrition services. It will be paid for from a $250-million bond measure passed in 2005.

Assistant Superintendent Greg Fromm says the construction project has become "a big distraction" for students and staff at La Familia. Fromm says the district will continue to look for a more permanent space solution for La Familia. Construction is expected to continue until late 2018.

The La Familia students will be moved into a cluster of seven unused classrooms at Coachella Valley High; two additional empty classrooms will be used by La Familia administration. Transportation and start times are not expected to be affected by the relocation, Hall said. Students return from winter break on Jan. 17.

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