Sahuarita Times: School District Moving Forward with New School in Sahuarita Town Center

“The Sahuarita Unified School District is moving forward on the construction of its newest school, located in the Sahuarita Town Center. The site, which will be located on 21 acres of land donated by the Rancho Sahuarita Company, will house a brand new K-8 school campus, complete with classrooms, multi-use and fine arts spaces, athletic fields and play areas. The new campus is situated on a planned extension of Rancho Sahuarita Blvd., a little less than a mile south of Sahuarita Rd.

The new school is made possible through the support of the Sahuarita community, whose voters helped to pass a $25 million bond last November. The tax monies generated from the bond will allow for the construction of this new school, and the replacement of old portable buildings that are currently located on the main campus along Sahuarita Rd.

The new campus’ construction on the donated land continues the long history of partnership that already exists between the district and Rancho Sahuarita. In the past two decades, the company has donated nearly 90 acres of land, including this site.  It has also been a key partner on many important district initiatives. The cost of needed off-site infrastructure to the site is being shared by the two entities.

Bob Sharpe, Founder of Rancho Sahuarita, has always placed a strong emphasis on the importance of education and schools, “For over 20 years, Rancho Sahuarita is honored to have played a pivotal role in expanding SUSD’s educational facilities, and now, we are excited to continue our partnership with SUSD by facilitating the construction of yet another school. As a former English teacher, I feel that a quality education and school facilities are essential to assure a bright future for the children of Rancho Sahuarita, and this new school’s opening in 2018 will further this aspiration.”

The Sahuarita Unified School District is a growing district, adding approximately 250 students per year for the last five years. Those students, coupled with the additional students that will likely be added in the future as the award-winning district continues to grow, make the need for new facilities very clear. Many of the schools are already at or near capacity, and the addition of a new school is something that local voters recognize the value of.

Additionally, a new school, (as with existing schools), cannot be successful without the proper supplies maintenance and care at their disposal. Local voters also successfully passed Proposition 451, which will go to fund district necessities, totaling $1 million a year for the next seven years. This includes $275,000 for Major Facility Repairs/Improvements, $200,000 for Instructional Technology/Resources, $350,000 for Buses/Student Transportation, $100,000 for Fine Arts/Athletic Equipment and $75,000 for Classroom Furniture and Equipment.

Superintendent for the Sahuarita Unified School District, Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, commented on the new school saying, “I am convinced that our progress as a region will be linked to the extent that we can intentionally find shared directions, and bring together our common interests and resources to continue building a great community. This latest agreement with the Rancho Sahuarita Company exemplifies this collective spirit of finding common ground and working together to make it a reality. These cooperative efforts will continue to benefit the region’s educational quality, economic development, and overall quality of life. I’m grateful to the Rancho Sahuarita Company for their vision of excellence, collaboration, and ongoing commitment to our community.”

Construction on the new school will formally begin this fall, with the new school anticipated to open in the fall of 2018 for the 2018/2019 school year. Local district students and parents can look for more updates in the coming months.”