Portola High School pride on display at dedication ceremony
Attendees at the dedication ceremony of IUSD’s fifth comprehensive high school included Portola teachers, staff and students, the IUSD Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Terry Walker, Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner, Irvine city councilmembers, IUSD representatives, PTA members, representatives from Fivepoint and Irvine Company, local dignitaries and community organizations.
The campus guests enjoyed a reception and tours of the school prior to the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, then all moved to the impressive theater for an even more impressive performance by the school’s symphonic band, followed by speeches from dignitaries, with videos from teachers and students shown periodically throughout the ceremony.
“This school is more than a beautiful environment, it has been developed to create innovative spaces for learning,” said Superintendent Terry Walker. “Most importantly, it is a symbol of our sincere promise to provide the highest-quality educational experience we can envision.”
“Today’s celebration is not a beginning, nor is it a finish line. But rather the dedication of this amazing facility is an important milestone in providing a world-class educational environment,” said Ira Glasky, president of the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education. “Portola is our first high school built in accordance with IUSD’s award-winning Education Specifications. The result of countless hours spent by our teachers, administrators and architects, these education specs detail the features needed to support instruction and 21st century learning at the highest levels.”
“We’re so excited to take on this monumental task of preparing our students for 21st century college and careers. We have, and will continue to assemble, a world-class staff to meet this challenge with fervor and complete dedication,” said Portola High School Principal John Pehrson. He thanked the audience of students, parents, teachers, staff, the Board of Education, district administrators, the city council, Fivepoint, the Irvine Company and other local dignitaries and community members for their partnership.
“Thank you for your partnership in this journey,” Pehrson said. “We’re so glad you are here to celebrate with us. Go Bull Dogs!”
The 43-acre Portola High School will eventually be home to about 2,400 students, as each year another class of freshmen joins, until the school has all 9-12 grades for the 2019-2020 school year. The high school is a state-of-the-art education facility designed to meet the criteria developed by the Collaborative for High-Performance Schools, which helps establish campuses that are comfortable, energy efficient and aligned with modern teaching and learning.
The school’s technology features and amenities include:
- A student center featuring collaborative learning environment, a library with dedicated quiet rooms and an Innovation Lab
- An elective building that houses video production, 2D and 3D art, music rooms and more
- Makers Space: a collaborative workspace for students and teachers
- 21st-century classrooms with common areas and flexible furniture for collaborative learning
- Dedicated science labs
- A special education facility to facilitate essential life skills
- A green roof that will enable hands-on, sustainable learning
- A 2,044-seat gymnasium that includes training facilities and dedicated team rooms
- A 2,940-seat stadium with rubberized track and artificial turf
- An aquatics center with a 50-meter pool
- Eight tennis courts
- Varsity and JV baseball and softball fields
- Track and field facilities
- Two full soccer fields