School District Gets Much Needed Campus

November 6, 2009

After significant delays due to state funding and over 100 years without a new school, the Heber School District broke ground on its newest campus earlier this month.

San Diego based Erickson-Hall will be the contractor in charger of amassing the $17.7 million Dogwood Elementary School, which will be located just south of El Centro in Heber, Calif.

"Heber School District has seen rapid student growth over the past three years," said Superintendent Jaime Silva, in a statement. "Our current and only site is overcrowded and it is for this reason that we needed to build a second school in the District."

The district was established July 3, 1908 and since then no new school had been built.

"This project has encountered many obstacles, but the most significant one was when the state froze funds for new school construction," Silva explained. "That action delayed completing this project for at least a year."

Dogwood Elementary School, which was designed by the architectural firm Ralph Allen and Partners, will be a 48,000-square-foot facility with six one-story buildings with various sized classrooms, computer learning center, multipurpose room, administration offices and a cafeteria.

The school will also have a large playground, athletic fields, parking lots and offsite amenities. The entire campus sizes up at around 16.5 acres.

Last year Erickson-Hall modernized a middle school for the district, which was the first time in 100 years that improvements were done to an existing school structure.

"Erickson-Hall was selected by Heber Elementary School District to construct our new elementary school because the team was well-prepared; impressive to see how much work and preparation they had done," said Silva, on the hiring for Dogwood Elementary.

"The information presented was easy to understand and everyone felt they would be a good match for our school district."

The Erickson-Hall team includes Dave Erickson, CEO; Eric Taylor, project manager; Mark Boland, superintendent; and Allie Smead, site administrator.

Construction is slated to take about 12 months with a completion date set for October 2010.