NEWS RELEASE – Two San Diego Unified high schools celebrate milestones for new campus additions

Posted: Friday, May 10th 2019

A rendering of the new Mira Mesa High music building's interior

May 10, 2019

SAN DIEGO - It was an exciting week for San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), with the ribbon-cutting of a state-of-the-art classroom at Patrick Henry High School, and the hoisting of a final steel beam for Mira Mesa High School’s first-of-its-kind music hall.

The new two-story wing of classrooms at Patrick Henry High School. Photo Credit: PJHM Architects.

On Monday, students joined Patrick Henry Principal Elizabeth “Listy” Gillingham, teachers, and district leaders to celebrate their new, state-of-the-art, math and world languages classroom building, and a renovated engineering space.

The two-story wing holds 24 standard classrooms and two regional occupational program (ROP) classrooms. ROP is a local program that provides job-training classes in a variety of career pathways, including 3D computer animation, veterinary services, business, and computer science.

“It feels like a new campus; almost like a college,” Gillingham said. “The students feel valued in each class you walk into.”

SDUSD Board President Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, Principal Elizabeth “Listy” Gillingham, & Chief of Facilities and Construction Lee Dulgeroff  joined PHHS project team leaders, construction leaders, & architects for a ribbon-cutting on Monday (above).

As part of the Patrick Henry whole site modernization project, construction crews installed two filtered hydration stations for students and staff, providing them with the highest quality of water. Hydration stations are filtered water fountains used for filling and refilling water bottles.

Older spaces in building 500 were renovated to create “The Academy of Engineering and Design,” also known as AOED. The academy includes a civil engineering and design lab, a fabrication lab, and a graphic arts instructional space. The district is also working toward improving the environment; the project team is planning to install solar energy systems on the new classroom building.

A separate project team is also in the process of modernizing sports facilities at Patrick Henry. When complete, there will be new scoreboards, goal posts, and bleachers at the football stadium, softball, and baseball fields.

On Friday, Mira Mesa celebrated its own milestone: the hoisting of the final steel beam for what will become the largest music hall in SDUSD history.

Exterior rendering of what will be the largest music hall in San Diego Unified School District’s History (above).

Students will move from an existing space of 4,300 square feet - to 15,500 square feet in this new building. When complete, the music hall will have two rehearsal rooms: a rehearsal hall that can fit 250 band members, and a rehearsal room to hold up to 64 orchestra students. Additionally, it will have five practice spaces, and a large storage space to preserve the school’s instruments for years to come.

Board President Sharon Whitehurst-Payne thanked Superintendent Cindy Marten and the board, saying these projects exemplify the  innovation in our schools.

“I’m so proud of our district for transforming our schools,” Whitehurst-Payne said. “I really want to commend the superintendent and her staff for their hard work transforming our schools.”

To read more about the San Diego Unified facilities planning and construction projects, like the ones at Patrick Henry High and Mira Mesa High School, visit


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