VISALIA – Long before Visalia Unified begins building a fifth comprehensive high school, it will replace its continuation high school with a brand new campus right next door.
Robert Groeber, assistant superintendent of administrative services, said the district is expanding the footprint of Sequoia High School by about a third, or 8 acres at the corner of West Goshen Avenue and North Mooney Boulevard directly west of the current campus. Groeber said the new campus will be able to build 20 classrooms totaling 66,000 square feet to accommodate up to 400 students without using portable classrooms and will have room to add a wing expanding the student enrollment capability to 500.
“The current campus is kind of a mix match of permanent and portable classrooms,” Groeber said.
The new school will include a multipurpose building, library, office, daycare, preschool and classrooms, welcoming freshman for the first time, 48 new parking spots, and revisions to the science classroom wing and home economics classroom wing. Groeber said the portables on the current campus may be repurposed for use at another alternative education or charter school site. The school site was approved by the Visalia Planning Commission on Feb. 12 and the school board held a public hearing on site at its April 24 meeting. It is projected to open for the fall 2019 semester.
“The school was built in 1968 and was a good site but didn’t have the open space that most new campuses emphasize,” Groeber said.
True to its name, the new Sequoia High School will feature classrooms with a cabin-esque shape to them with tan walls and green roofs, similar to colors used by Sequoia National Park on its signs and uniforms. Its new front entrance will be on Woodland, with the address 900 N. Woodland St., and the school will offer a Forestry and Natural Resources pathway that leads into an associate’s degree at Reedley College.