El Cajon Valley christens new metal shop building

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EL CAJON — Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and El Cajon Valley High School officials dedicated the newly renovated metal works facility and special education suites with an honorary chain-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

EL CAJON — Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and El Cajon Valley High School officials dedicated the newly renovated metal works facility and special education suites with an honorary chain-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

New Welding Booths
“El Cajon Valley High School is the only public education program in the county that provides American Welding Society Certification,” said El Cajon Valley Principal Dr. Erin Richison. “Over the past thirty years, the program has given our students the opportunity to explore possible careers in manufacturing and welding, and has turned out thousands of certified welders.”

According to Richison, as the only public education program in the county that provides American Welding Society certification, this facility had been used day and night and was no longer able to meet the demands of the program and the needs of the industry.

“The new, totally transformed facility is a modern welding and fabrication facility with state of the art equipment, which should provide training in the vital manufacturing industry sector for many years into the future,” she said.

“The entire building was modernized and 7,000 square feet was added to double the size of the welding program.”

With 28 new welding booths in a well-ventilated space, students attend lectures and perform hands-on exercises.

Key to this modernization are high performance concepts that feature: day lighting, natural ventilation, improved air quality and acoustic control.

This year, the school expect to serve more than 180 students in the welding metal masters program.

New Special Education Suite

The new special education suites on the North side of the building provide age-appropriate activities that support independence and self-advocacy for our students with cognitive disabilities.

The facility includes three classrooms, a living skills lab, personal hygiene training areas, focus rooms and a flexible support system for hanging furniture and sensory equipment.

“With the bond funding, we have been able to create facilities similar to this one at all of our school sites,” Richison said.
These special education facilities were designed to provide a learning environment that supports teachers in meeting academic, sensory, motor, and functional life skills of students with moderate to severe disabilities.

The classrooms are also equipped with portable and accessible smart board technology, multi-sensory and adaptive equipment, private student bathrooms, kitchenettes, and laundry facilities.

In the past, for various reasons, students with severe disabilities may not have had the opportunity to attend high school in their neighborhood.
The remodel of the special education classrooms across the district is one of the primary reasons that is no longer the case.

Districtwide, students with severe disabilities are now attending the same school as their siblings and their neighbors.

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