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New Performing Arts Spaces, Gym and Classrooms on the Way to Vista Ridge High School

VRHS students break ground Oct. 26. District 49 students, staff and community members gathered at Vista Ridge High School Oct. 26 to kick-off major additions to the school made possible by the passage of ballot issue 3B in November.

“I want to thank our community,” said Dave Cruson, District 49 Board of Education director. “They said yes, school is important and we want to make opportunities for all students.”

The ceremony kicks off expansion projects at the POWER Zone high school. An auditorium, auxiliary gymnasium, and additional classroom spaces are being constructed on the west side of the school.

“Our students and parents have told us that we need to focus on some art pathway pieces and extracurricular activities,” said Mike Pickering, PhD, POWER Zone leader.

“Our teachers and students have pulled off some of the best performances in the area with the resources they currently have. I am very excited to see what they will produce when they have the resources that they deserve.”

Pickering said that the new performing arts spaces at VRHS will combine with a successful arts program at Skyview Middle School and a new arts-focused POWER Zone elementary school to create the first K-12 arts pathway in District 49. The new elementary school is scheduled to open in the Banning Lewis Ranch neighborhood in August 2019.

“This groundbreaking is a long time coming for Vista Ridge,” said Sierra Tune, 18, twelfth-grader and president of the VRHS student body and thespian club. “It’s finally giving the students, the teachers and the staff the opportunity to expand and expound on their potential and abilities.”

“This is a truly historic event for Vista Ridge,” said Sierra. “Over the last four years our Wolfpack theatre and choirs have made incredible strides in the arts world.”

“Art is what keeps all of us human. It’s what connects us to not only ourselves and who we are, but to those we love and those who love us.”

Dave Cruson, District 49 Board of Education director, addresses students, staff and community members at VRHS Oct. 26.  VRHS staff members break ground Oct. 26.

“It helps both those who perform and those who enjoy the show grow and learn about the world and the possibilities that they would not have known without art and theatre and music,” said Sierra. “And these beautiful forms of humanity that we have that we can share with anybody who is willing to listen.”

“So here’s to the art of humanity, the art of each other, the art of you and me, and the art of love. And the proper facility to celebrate it, to celebrate all of us.”

“Here’s to the new auditorium.”

District 49 team members and VRHS project contractors break ground Oct. 26.  VRHS students break ground Oct. 26.

Matt Meister