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Ground broken on Excelsior Charter Schools' new Barstow campus
BARSTOW • The ground broke Tuesday afternoon on Excelsior Charter Schools’ new Barstow campus — a project expected to begin by late September and take approximately seven months to complete, officials said.
The current campus is located at 2151 W. Main St.
It was too early to estimate how much the new campus will cost, said William Flynn, the superintendent of Excelsior Charter Schools. But he said Tuesday that the school will be paid for entirely with money already budgeted from Excelsior’s general fund.
When completed, the 9,600-square-foot campus will sit a parking lot’s distance from Barstow Community College’s Career Technical Education building at 1501 S. State St.
The charter school and BCC are partners in the facility.
“It’s time for us to move into something bigger,” said Camren Jones, principal of the Barstow campus. “Enrollment is growing.”
The new campus will also boast a state-of-the-art computer lab and six classrooms, Jones said. The current campus has three.
The plan will be for students to take their core classes in the morning at Excelsior and then walk the short distance to BCC’s facilities for afternoon college courses, Jones said.
BCC launched Career Academy this spring, allowing pre-college students to earn concurrent college credit. Offered courses include welding, electrical technology, automotive and diesel technology, child development and photography.
Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony was attended by several local and county officials, including BCC President Dr. Debbie DiThomas; Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre; Marine Corp Logistics Base Headquarters Battalion Commanding Officer Stafford Buchanan; and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Thomas.
Many who spoke hoped the partnership between the Excelsior Barstow campus and BCC could act as a model to follow for other pre- and post-secondary education schools.
Shea Johnson can be reached at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com or 760-256-4126.