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Somerton gets funding for new high school

Groundbreaking planned for this fall

SOMERTON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - After six-years of hard work and planning, Somerton is getting its own high school. Yuma Union High School District (YUHSD) announced it's getting the more than $33-million dollars needed to construct the campus and begin classes ahead of schedule.

“The funding that has been allocated for Somerton High School through legislation and ultimately Governor Ducey's signature is a result of so many people working towards a common goal that puts STUDENTS at the center. All legislators representing our County have taken part at some point in supporting this work. Great questions were asked. Data was presented. Each and every meeting meant people coming to the table." said Yuma Union High School District Superintendent Gina Thompson.

The process began in 2015, when voters approved a high school bond that allocated $20-million for the school as part of "new construction." YUHSD purchased a parcel of land for the campus in 2017, and began working on securing permits, meeting with the city of Somerton, and finding construction and design teams.

The school's master plan was completed in 2019, but YUHSD didn't receive the funding it needed to move forward in the year 2020. The funding wasn't recommended for the 2021 fiscal year either.

However, in June, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill allocating more than $33-million to not only get the school built, but speed up the construction.

“Arizona’s schools and educators do incredible work to keep students on the path to success, and I was proud to sign a state budget that supports all they do for kids and families, said Gov. Ducey. "Schools throughout Yuma Union High School District challenge students, help them prepare for their next steps, and help them grow in and out of the classroom. My thanks goes to Superintendent Gina Thompson and all the educators, school leaders and community members who have made supporting students their top priority.”

Somerton Mayor Gerardo Anaya said the high school has been a long time coming.

 “Established in 1898, Somerton has grown to be the best little city in Arizona, and it's only getting better. Our community has been anxiously waiting for this high school. As a lifetime Somerton resident, it is an honor to serve as Mayor and I’m proud to see my community prosper. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with YUHSD to make this project a success," said Mayor Anaya.

The high school will be located near Cesar Chavez Avenue and Jefferson Street. Groundbreaking is planned for sometime this fall.

KYMA.com will continue to follow the school's progress and bring you updates as they become available.

Article Topic Follows: Education
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