The Kern High School District held a community meeting Thursday at Golden Valley High School to discuss the newest high school coming to Bakersfield and to listen and learn what the community would like to see in the school.
It has been 10 years since a new high school has opened in KHSD. The goal of the new school, located off the northeast corner of Panama Lane and Cottonwood Road in southeast Bakersfield, is to fix the overflow of students in nearby schools, such as Golden Valley and Ridgeview high schools. The school is projected to open in the fall of 2022.
At the meeting, Kern High staff, joined by HMC Architects staff, divided the participants into three groups to discuss three different structural areas: site; classrooms and education spaces; and support buildings.
When discussing the site, one of the main concerns was traffic. Community and staff members suggested a two-lane road each way from Union Avenue to Cottonwood Road — an accessible drop off area — and traffic signs. Participants also suggested sidewalks be put in for a safer environment for those who walk to school.
Community members discussed the size of the campus — 90 acres, which is larger than any other high school. People at the meeting said an outdoor quad would be helpful for students to engage in outdoor learning occasionally. They also discussed having a covered outdoor patio, a health clinic, an adult education and parent center, a community garden and a food bank.
Staff of HMC Architects, the company designing the campus, said they hope to include a pool and many trees on the school campus.
Classrooms and education spaces
Community members stressed comfortable seating, nice and inviting colors, natural sunlight, reading nooks and a break out space for student assistance.
In regards to performing arts, community members said they would like to see an inside and outside stage layout.
As far as the community use of the school, community members would like students to take surveys, asking what they want in terms of programs or spaces for after school activities.
Lastly, those attending the meeting discussed the administration building, the library and the cafeteria.
Community members asked the library have soft seating, bar tops and charging stations.
Much dialogue arose when discussing the cafeteria. Those attending said during lunch hour, lines are very long giving the students little time to eat. One way to help this issue is to have kiosks or carts across campus. Community members asked for picnic tables throughout campus to reduce the compactness inside the cafeteria.
KHSD plans to hold another community meeting to discuss the future campus.