The cornfields are gone. The dirt is exposed. The construction trailers are already parked. Higley Unified School District officials broke ground Wednesday night for its second high school on 56 acres at Higley Road and Vest Avenue.
The district’s sixth-, seventhand eighth-grade students named the 1,700-student school Williamsfield High School. The school is expected to open in fall 2007 with a pirate mascot and red and black school colors.
The 227,800-square-foot facility will be modeled after a Peoria school and will have a two-story main classroom building, a career and technology building, an auditorium, media center and athletic fields.
“All the academic areas are clustered together in one building in a way that is really focused on learning, rather than just architectural design,” said Superintendent Joyce Lutrey.
The Arizona School Facilities Board, which finances new school construction, is paying the bulk of the $38 million cost, however, the district has had to add $5.7 million of bond money to construct the fields, the auditorium and the amphitheater in the courtyard.
Higley Elementary and Middle School eighth-grader Chanti Brown said it felt “weird” standing on the dirt field that would be her school starting her sophomore year.
“We’ve been here for so long seeing fields and pretty soon it will have a whole bunch of buildings and people everywhere,” the 13-year-old said.