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Two High Schools Celebrate Construction Milestones

NEWS RELEASE: Two High Schools Celebrate Major Construction Milestones
Posted on 06/08/2022

News Release

Two High Schools Celebrate Major Construction Milestones

June 8, 2022

SAN DIEGO - As a new classroom and library building is complete at one San Diego Unified School District high school, a new performing arts center and student services facility is beginning at another.

On Wednesday, Morse High School Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (AJROTC) students performed in front of San Diego Unified leaders, drama students, and staff, to celebrate the start of construction on their new two-story performing arts and student services building at the campus that serves Skyline, Paradise Hills and other communities.

With demoed portables behind them, the AJROTC performed with drums, a national anthem rendition, and a display of colors.

“Right now, there's a lot of dirt and debris,” said Dr. Cynthia Larkin, Principal of Morse High School. “In time, it will transform into our vision, and the community’s vision, for the theater.”

Morse HS Groundbreaking

Morse High School Students Join Board of Education President Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, Morse Principal Dr. Cynthia Larkin, Chief Facilities Planning & Construction Officer Lee Dulgeroff, and Director of Visual and Performing Arts Russ Sperling in a Ceremonious "Shovel to the Ground." 


As part of the third phase of the Whole Site Modernization project, the aging portables will be replaced by the student services and performing arts center that will include a theater with a stage, LED lighting, theatrical orchestra enclosure and more. The new student services building will also be constructed with a secure campus entry, lobby, administrative offices and support spaces.
“This theater follows in the footsteps of the new theaters at Hoover High School, Wilson Middle School, and Patrick Henry High School,” said Russ Sperling, Director of Visual and Performing Arts at San Diego Unified. “Since the creation of those theaters, we’ve seen those students mature and grow as artists. We’re hoping this theater will do the same for Morse High students.” 

WATCH: A 3D Flythrough of the Upcoming Theater and Performing Arts Center at Morse High School

More than the theater, the project also includes expansion of the student quad area and a new parking lot along 69th Street. Campus safety and security will be enhanced with a new single point of entry, reconfigured parking lot and student drop-off and pick-up area from Tuther Way, more security cameras, perimeter fencing and upgraded campus communications and fire alarm systems.

Earlier this week, Point Loma High School celebrated the completion of its new classroom and library/media center building on Monday, June 6. Like Morse, Point Loma High’s NJROTC and choir performed in front of students, staff, and district leaders to celebrate the school's new three-story, 38,000 square-foot building, renovation of the 200 and 300 buildings and upgrades to the athletic facilities.

PLHS Ribbon-Cutting

From Left to Right: Chief Facilities Planning & Construction Officer Lee Dulgeroff, Point Loma High School (PLHS) ASB President & Senior Ella Sykes, Board of Education President Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, PLHS Principal Kelly Lowry, and PLHS Library Technician and San Diego Unified Classified Employee of the Year Lisa Cooper attend the ribbon-cutting. 


“It’s uplifting,” said Kelly Lowry, Principal of Point Loma High School. “Students and teachers were learning and teaching remotely as construction was underway, so you can imagine how these new facilities added to their excitement of returning to the campus for in-person learning. We feel like this is the beginning of a new chapter.”

The new building at Point Loma High features a library/media center on the first floor, ten classrooms each on the second and third floors, and a student quad. Parking capacity was also increased with the reconfiguration of the Clove Street parking lot, which features a secure visitors’ entrance to the campus.

Other improvements include landscape and hardscape improvements, secure perimeter fencing and creation of a single campus entryway, practice fields, and technology upgrades.

Construction on the third phase of the Morse High School Whole Site Modernization is anticipated to complete in Summer 2024. This latest phase complements recent enhancements at Morse, including newly modernized classrooms, a remodeled music building, and present-day signage and graphics, completed in phases one and two.

“It’s wonderful to see the investments we are making at schools like Morse High and Point Loma High,” said Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, Board of Education President for San Diego Unified. “While they are two very diverse campuses, they share one thing in common: they benefit from local bond funds. And the investment shows.”

Funding for the Morse High and Point Loma High projects is made available through Propositions S & Z, and Measure YY, which are local school bond measures approved by San Diego voters to improve San Diego Unified schools.The project is estimated to complete in late 2024. Read more about the projects at http://fpcprojects.sandi.net.

Located in the Skyline and Paradise Hills neighborhoods of San Diego, Morse High School offers engaging academic and extracurricular programs, with courses in engineering, software and systems development, culinary arts, JROTC, and more. Morse also partners with three local colleges that offer courses and credits to students. Read more about Morse High School here.

A four-year comprehensive high school in the heart of Point Loma, Point Loma High School offers a wide range of courses, including fine academic programs, extensive elective offerings, and excellent extracurricular opportunities. Point Loma High also received a six-year accreditation in May 2015, by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Read more about Point Loma High School here.

Photos and videos of the Morse High School demolition & groundbreaking event can be found here.
Photos and videos of the Point Loma High School ribbon-cutting can be found here.
About Morse High School construction contractor Sundt and Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects.
About Point Loma High School construction contractor Balfour Beatty and architects AVRP Studios.
Golden Beam Hoisted into Place on Point Loma High School’s New Three-Story Classroom Hall

MEDIA CONTACT: Jamie Ries, Information Services Specialist, San Diego Unified, 619-855-9283, [email protected].