MARANA, Ariz. — School starts today for students of Marana Unified School District. MUSD is kicking off the new school year unveiling dozens of school improvement projects that finished this summer.
The catapult to these improvements was the $125 million bond that passed in 2014. MUSD has phased that money in for the last several years with it now coming to an end. It supported dozens of plans, like expanding MCAT High School to include 10th graders.
"For many years we've had 100 students on site, and with our recent expansion, we've now doubled in size. So we have more classrooms and more learning spaces for students,” said Denise Coronado, MCAT High School’s principal.
After years of having a wait list and years of planning, an entire wing on the property used to be district offices. But with the 2014 bond, the offices were able to move to a different location and open up space at MCAT to create brand new classrooms.
"Brand new carpet, brand new paint, taking down office walls, all the hardware behind the scenes with the HVAC planning. And now our classrooms are ready to go and new spaces to welcome new kids,” said Coronado.
Along with welcoming more students, MCAT has new career and tech education programs.
"We'll be adding robotics, computer networking and construction programs, so the students get hands-on learning and get those skills alongside their diploma to go out to the workforce,” said Coronado.
Other schools across the district are implementing these types of courses as well. And like MCAT, all campuses have new secure access points. Every school in the district has only one entryway, all other entries are now closed off. Some front office spaces needed complete renovations during the summer to do this, like Marana High School.
"So now, when you visit one of our campuses, we have that balance of it feeling welcoming and people can get in the front door, but they can't get beyond that unless we release them to come in," said Russell Federico.
Among other Marana Unified improvements:
- new schools built
- new digital marquees installed at every campus
- new gym floors at high schools
- bus fuel switched to clean diesel
- new college, careers, life skills center at Mountain View High School
- new welding and metal fabrication programs at Marana High School
- Twin Peaks expansion to accept 7th and 8th grade students
- Energy conservation throughout the district
"We're real excited because many families are attracted to the additional choices we're giving them now. And that bond helped make that happen for those families," said Federico.