Valhalla High School holds open house after Prop. U refurbishing
Valhalla High School’s Principal Mary Beth Kastan had this to say about the school, “We are a school of superlatives.” And that they are—even more so with the modernization of its main building and theater. A re-dedication and open house was held on Oct.11 with a ribbon cutting, speeches, and tours of the Rancho San Diego school.
One of their superlatives was a diver named Greg Louganis an Olympic gold medalist in the 1980’s who attended Valhalla. Alumna Gay Martinez even quipped that the pool was constructed just for him so he could dive saying, “He was there every morning.”
The building in itself is superlative with new technology upgrades, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, fire alarms and much more. The round, four-story main building features a renovated theater, choral room, food services, CTE classrooms, administration, with solar carports over the student parking and much more. The high school was established in 1974 and has a student body of around 2,100 currently.
Student Kaylie Williams, a Rancho San Diego resident, said, “We can all use our Chrome Books at one time due to the new WIFI”.
A Coronado resident, Patrick Watkins, chose Valhalla for his high school of preference and used his building culinary skills as a student in their culinary program, CTE Culinary Arts, to help bake and serve the 144 cookies for the open house.
Scott Patterson, Deputy Superintendent with Grossmont Union High School District, pointed out that Prop U funded the modernization. Construction costs were $33 million and took 14 months to complete.
The building was put in use in time for the 2016/17 academic school year. Of note was the multiple times, “Thank you to the taxpayers” as sentiment speakers like Mary Beth Kasan, Dr. Tim Glover, and Jim Kelly set forth in their welcome speeches and descriptions of the project to the estimated 100 in attendance.
Also sharing her experiences of boxes being moved and then moved again during the construction was English teacher and Valhalla alumna Kiersten Ciallella. Student and president of the Associated Student Body Alexandra Somo showed school pride with her “Orange Nation” school colors’ orange and white t-shirt and eloquently shared her pride in her school during a speech as well.
Valhalla student and Link Crew member, Rachel Shellstrom, worked as a tour guide after the speeches and ribbon cutting. Part of that tour was the theater where attendees got to see a rehearsal of a play in action.
While Greg Louganis finally got his picture on a box of Wheaties, Valhalla’s new building could have made it with its new building. The Scandinavian figure, Thor, whose bust is in the new building, must have had a hand it in. Valhalla, a reference to the Scandinavians’ word for an after-life majestic hall, might well be a majestic hall with the modernization.