By Ian Hanigan
If you build it they will come. And if you don’t build it, they will come.
That’s the reality facing IUSD’s facilities team as the district moves forward with plans to construct its fifth comprehensive high school near the northeast border of the Orange County Great Park.
Superintendent Terry Walker says the project’s timing is particularly critical: If IUSD is unable to open the campus in 2016, projections indicate that dramatic overcrowding would occur at Irvine, Northwood, University and Woodbridge high schools, as new residential developments are bringing new students — and lots of them.
Fortunately, the district and developer Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC, have already identified a suitable property and entered into contractual agreements. But a city official has expressed criticism of the location and is now seeking to reset the timeline by suggesting an alternative site, though none has been formally proposed.
In an interview this week, Walker stressed the importance of opening the district’s fifth comprehensive high school on time and sought to clarify a few facts about the escrowed property and the district’s position.
Here’s what the superintendent had to say: