San Dieguito celebrates new math, science building


Since the beginning of the school year, students have had a state-of-the-art new home for math and science on the San Dieguito Academy High School campus. The San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) celebrated with a ribbon-cutting event on Friday, Sept. 29.

“What we have behind us would not be possible without a supportive community,” SDUHSD Superintendent Eric Dill said at the ceremony in front of the two-story, 25,000-square-foot building. “It’s so gratifying to work in a place where five years ago our residents came together and said, ‘We want to invest in our schools’ and they passed Proposition AA and that’s what made this building possible.”

Dill said the campus’ old concrete buildings from the 1950s more closely resembled “fallout shelters than classrooms,” many of them without windows — now students have ocean views from some of the spacious rooms. SVA Architects and Erickson Hall Construction were able to complete the district’s vision, bringing 19 new classrooms in total.

Where two science classrooms used to have to share one lab, there are now eight labs. The “well-thought out,” fully-equipped instructional spaces are more reflective of a college learning environment, said SDA Principal Adam Camacho.

Math teacher Gail Lee said that in her 19 years at SDA, math teachers had always been scattered in classrooms all over campus.

“Now I think we have an amazing opportunity because we are all together finally,” Lee said, noting over the last few weeks of being in the building she is finding herself collaborating more with not just fellow math teachers but with the science department.

Chemistry teacher Russ Davidson, who has been at SDA for 18 years, said he is grateful for the opportunity teachers had to provide input into what the building and the classrooms should look like. He said the result is “amazing” — “a structure flexible enough to teach kids for the next 80 years like the last building did, that provides all of the technology, all of the physical resources and all of the instruction spaces to meet the needs of kids today,” he said.

At the ribbon cutting, Camacho thanked the students who put up with the dirt, noise and displacement that came with the construction project.

Camacho said the ribbon cutting represented another exciting day in San Dieguito’s rich 81-year history. He said he felt privileged to be the principal overseeing the construction of the new learning facility and the other projects in progress, including the culinary arts classrooms expected to be complete this November and the new English, social science and arts building that is estimated to begin construction in December with a completion date of July 2019. The new building, at 43,000 square feet and 33 classrooms, will be the second largest classroom building in the district once completed.

“SDA has always been and will continue to be all about quality. It is a school where educational experience is motivated and measured by our authentic culture, our talented teachers and staff, our collaborative efforts with our community and, of course, our amazing students and their successes,” Camacho said. “The core of their success will come from our district’s laser focus on continually learning and executing what is best for kids. The new SDA math and science building is a perfect example of that.”