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Jonas Salk Elementary settling in

New district school line. Jonas Salk Elementary School buildings on Parkdale Avenue. Classrooms frame behind. Friday, April 4, 2014.
New district school line. Jonas Salk Elementary School buildings on Parkdale Avenue. Classrooms frame behind. Friday, April 4, 2014.
Adam Benjamin

Construction work on a new school on Parkdale Avenue in Mira Mesa, moves ahead on schedule for a Fall 2015 opening. K-5 students will take their seats, just east of the local park, in the classrooms built in the honor of a patriotic American scientist, Jonas Salk, the man who discovered the polio vaccine.

Adam Benjamin
Adam Benjamin
Administration building construction at JOnas Salk Elementary site in Mira Mesa. Friday, April 4th, 2014.

A long time has passed since the school was scheduled to open in 2006 on old canyon lands. The Mira Mesa elementary classes grow even more overcrowded at its two elementary schools. The new school's unfinished administration building and cafeteria built near the Parkdale Avenue front driveway have a roof, and walls. Plans to turn the neighborhood dirt into Jonas Salk Elementary School were slow to schedule for construction work. THe elementary school with a famous name was first set for construction 32 years ago.

Classes going up in steel behind the front cafeteria and near the lot back will house the school's 700 students. Space for education needed to lower the stiff odds on taking class in an overcrowded classroom in Mira Mesa. Back in 2003, a volunteer design team helped the San Diego Unified School District finish the school design. Prop MM funds guaranteed the work could get done. But, construction plans became tentative after U.S. Fish and Wildlife found fairy shrimp in vernal pools on the canyon lands needed protection. The school's design team modified its plans at the federal department's request, and, proved the harm done to the canyon ecology was eased.

September, last year, the construction contractor started work on the major ground gaining education project. Rolling machines parked on the corner parking lot site, blocks south of Mira Mesa BOulevard, still turn over dirt.

Placing bricks in a library building wall, near Parkdale Avenue, makes clear the land the district owns will have room to store the books the school classes will read. One class after another.

The final project in the Prop MM plan to renovate and construct schools will, next year, stand as an example of setting a goal, and never going back on a community promise. Mira Mesa K-5 students get their opportunity to build up to their own goals at Jonas Salk Elementary.

THis is the latest story told for Saturday City Scene Chronicles. TO read earlier articles, read

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