Administrators in the Orange Unified School District have officially unveiled a brand new STEM complex at Orange High School.
The two-story facility – projected to open to students via a hybrid model of instruction this week – offers 43,200 square feet of space, boasting four chemistry and eight science classrooms, one general classroom and two living skills classrooms.
According to the district, the state-of-the-art classrooms will provide a learning environment that supports high achievement, celebrates student success and allow students to experience what it’s like to learn in a post-secondary level facility.
“It is rewarding knowing that the oldest high school in the district now has the newest STEM dedicated building in the county and that our students will soon be able to start classes there,” said Administrative Services Senior Executive Director Scott Harvey.
The new classrooms come with stations for up to 40 students. However, with coronavirus restrictions currently in place, Orange High School Principal Dennis McCuistion recently told the Orange County Register that no more than 20 students will be in a classroom at one time, and each student desk has been walled by Plexiglas.
“The tools in here are going to provide amazing learning experiences for our students at Orange High School,” McCuistion said. “We have some very talented science students come through here, and to get these tools in their hands is going to create an academic experience that all students deserve,” he said.
The new complex is the first of four similar facilities to be completed on the district’s four comprehensive high school campuses.
Villa Park, Canyon and El Modena high schools will also receive funding from Measure S – a $288 million bond approved by local voters in 2016 for campus upgrades and renovations – for similar projects including new science centers, career training facilities and special education classrooms.
Upgrades at Villa Park and El Modena are scheduled to be finished in the spring, and completion is expected in the fall of 2021 for Canyon High, according to the Register.