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Orange County Focus

SANTA ANA : Groundbreaking for Chavez School Friday

August 30, 1993|JON NALICK

The Santa Ana Unified School District will break ground Friday for a continuation high school named after labor leader Cesar Chavez. The school will be the first in the state to bear his name, district officials said.

Chavez's son, Paul, and daughter, Liz Chavez Villarino, will attend the ceremony, which will be at 10 a.m. at 2128 S. Cypress Ave., district spokeswoman Diane Thomas said.

Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony will include Richard C. Hernandez, president of the school district board, and district Supt. Rudy M. Castruita. Valley High School's folklorico dancers will perform.

When completed in about 18 months, the school will contain 17,700 square feet of classroom, library and laboratory space on a 2.2-acre site. The two-story building will surround a landscaped atrium.

The $2-million construction cost will be paid by the state, Thomas said.

Chavez, who was dedicated to nonviolent protest, is best known for the massive grape boycotts he organized in the 1960s that dramatized the plight of America's farm workers. He died in April at age 66.

The school is designed to alleviate overcrowding throughout the district, where enrollment has increased an average of 1,000 students a year since the late 1970s. With more than 48,000 students, Santa Ana Unified is the largest district in the county and the eighth largest statewide, Thomas said.

The district should also break ground on two additional elementary schools this fall: Martin Luther King Jr. in south Santa Ana and Pio Pico in the central part of the city, Thomas said.

Also, newly built Adeline Walker Elementary School, at 811 E. Bishop St., will open its doors this fall.

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