Commentary: Hart District Leadership Sets the Bar High in Multiple Areas

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Working on the Castaic High School Project, we are of course highly focused on bringing this very special project to a successful completion. And, over the course of the past several years, as we have worked together with the William S. Hart Union High School District and its board of trustees, we have developed a strong appreciation for their leadership and vision for Castaic High School.

But it's even more than that.

We've seen over the past several years that our community's elected leaders and the executive team at the Hart District are excellent multitaskers. Not only are they sharply tuned in to the needs and steps that must be taken to move a major high school development project forward, but also they have been juggling many other initiatives to move the Hart District forward on behalf of the community.

All of this, while overseeing the daily operation of a school district with nearly 23,000 students enrolled in six comprehensive high schools, six junior high schools and six additional specialized campuses and programs.

It’s a lot to take in, yet they do, with professionalism and a shared sense of accomplishment.

Consider that, in the time since ground was broken for grading and construction of Castaic High School, the Hart District and its board have moved the district forward in numerous other areas including several projects that, like Castaic High School, received funding from the $300 million Measure SA school facilities bond measure approved by Hart District voters in 2008:

•    New permanent classrooms upgrades to facilities and technology at the district's older campuses, including Sierra Vista Junior High School, Placerita Junior High School and Hart High School.

•    A 452-seat performing arts center at Canyon High School. The 18,560-square-foot performing arts center opened in April 2016. Prior to that, many Canyon student performing groups, including the Madrigals choral program, had to perform their shows at Golden Valley High School.

•    Construction of an all-new, state-of-the-art performing arts center, to be called "The Forum," at Saugus High School. Scheduled to be completed in spring 2018, the highly anticipated, $18.3 million, 19,000-square-foot project will seat 468 for performances.

Progress like this illustrates several key things. First, the Hart District’s leadership is not merely maintaining the status quo, and is not focused solely on one area of the community. The district is executing a vision of maintaining and elevating the educational experience, options and results for students throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

Further, it demonstrates that our high school district’s board members and executive team recognize the diverse educational needs of the community and they are willing to put in the time and effort to make sure those needs are met. It can be a thankless job.

So, from where we stand – from our vantage point where our primary focus is the successful completion of an outstanding new high school – we’ve seen firsthand that the community’s high school district is in very good hands
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Randy Wrage is the development manager for the Castaic High School Project.