December 2, 2023
San Diego Unified Faculty District devoted the brand new George Walker Smith Training campus, the rebuilt Central Elementary and Wilson Center Faculty in Metropolis Heights Wednesday. Picture by way of @RepJuanVargas Twitter

San Diego Unified Faculty District welcomed again U.S. Deputy Secretary of Training Cindy Marten Wednesday because it devoted the whole rebuild of Central Elementary and Wilson Center faculties into the George Walker Smith Training campus.

Named after the primary African American elected to workplace in San Diego County, the Smith Training Campus brings the Wilson Center and Central Elementary campuses collectively in Metropolis Heights.

“We dedicate this campus to previous, present and future college students, but in addition to the Metropolis Heights neighborhood,” mentioned SDUSD Superintendent Lamont Jackson. “We acknowledge Mr. Smith for his devotion to younger college students and bringing folks of all ethnicities collectively.”

Wilson was initially inbuilt 1924 as a two-story schoolhouse, serving the then-suburban neighborhood alongside El Cajon Boulevard. Now positioned alongside Orange Avenue, the brand new campus supplies seven trendy buildings, together with a Performing Arts Heart and a parking construction with roof-top playcourts to the Wilson Center web site, and 9 new buildings to Central Elementary.

Opened in 1938 as a one-building college alongside Polk Avenue, the previous Central campus was expanded all through the years to maintain up with rising scholar enrollment, a district assertion learn.

“San Diego and Central Elementary will at all times maintain a particular place in my coronary heart, and to return to a campus that has been fully reworked is awe- inspiring,” mentioned Marten, former superintendent of San Diego Unified and principal of Central Elementary.

“San Diego Unified’s dedication to high quality services that foster high-quality educating and studying, its intentional involvement of employees, households, college students and neighbors within the design course of, and the outcomes these tasks are producing, reveal how the varsity district is elevating the bar for its college students.”

Central’s upgrades embody 26 new general-purpose lecture rooms, 14 specialised lecture rooms, a library studying heart, a multipurpose room, an after-school program room, a neighborhood clinic, a well being heart, scholar companies places of work and three new play areas. Specialised lecture rooms embody 5 kindergarten lecture rooms, 5 particular training lecture rooms and 4 preschool lecture rooms.

“Bond funds have single-handedly reworked Metropolis Heights and communities inside my district and past,” mentioned Richard Barrera, a Board of Training trustee. “We’re remodeling the lives of our college students whereas additionally remodeling communities on the similar time.”

Barrera and the Board of Training voted unanimously to call the campus that hosts Central and Elementary and Wilson Center after George Walker Smith in March 2021.

Smith was elected to the Board of Training in 1963. Serving for 16 years, he initiated a variety marketing campaign to encourage trustees to journey to traditionally black faculties to recruit black academics and educators, the district assertion learn.

“George personified fairness for all college students and spent his life constructing civic engagement all through San Diego,” mentioned Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, board of training trustee. “He was a legend then and his legacy lives on to at the present time.”

Metropolis Information Service contributed to this text.