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UHS move to Catalina HS: Board president says "It's not a done deal"

Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 21:08:30-04

The TUSD board president is reacting to a proposal that would give high achieving University High its own campus by taking over Catalina High School.

The board recently voted to move forward with the idea -- after a U-H-S committee presented the proposal. The board directed the superintendent to examine all scenarios. Mark Stegeman told KGUN9 that "the UHS site council, with the assistance of district administration, is preparing a study covering some of the issues, for delivery to the board by Nov. 20."

Michael Hicks says he wants more options on the table. 

"I've heard numerous people say 'oh it's a done deal'. This is not a done deal, but any sense of the term. I want to hear what's going on. We can't just uproot and move people over. There's so much that would have to happen. It would not happen at the beginning of next year.

Hicks say transporting Catalina students to Rincon could be too costly -- considering the district is facing a $4.5 million budget shortfall this school year after discovering about 880 students left the district.

Hicks has suggested Townsend Middle School -- a closed campus less than 2 miles from University High. 

Stegeman, who is pushing for the UHS move to Catalina, says, "If the board decides to move ahead then there would be submissions to the court, at least one public hearing concerning the school closure. The staff and board would have to make decisions about how and what investments to make in the combined RHS/CHS to help it succeed. There would be much transition planning."