Newhall Ranch To Include 2 Schools

Newhall Land Development LLC will build a junior high and a high school to serve the nearly 21,000-home Newhall Ranch development proposed for the west side of Interstate 5, Hart district and Newhall Land officials said this week.

The plan for the two schools was outlined in a recently finalized agreement between the developer and the William S. Hart Union High School District.

Newhall Ranch is a proposed development that would be built along Highway 126 near the Ventura County line.

The two schools are slated to be constructed as part of the third phase of Newhall Ranch, Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said.

“Quite frankly, this mitigates and allows for the Hart district to serve our kids for the next 20-plus years,” Hart district Chief Operations Officer Thomas Cole said.

Despite the agreement, the Hart district is expected to revisit the contract on a regular basis, Cole said.

The Hart district will also have a say in the design of the two schools so that student needs are met, Cole said. While the developer will handle the construction of the two schools, staffing the schools is left up to the Hart district.

Newhall Land hopes to break ground on the first phase, known as Landmark Village, within the next couple of years, Lauffer said.

Because of the significant scale of the project, Newhall Ranch could take 15 to 20 years to fully build out, Lauffer said.

Developer-built schools are considered a landmark method of meeting school district needs and creating complete communities when neighborhoods expand or are constructed on previously undeveloped land.

“The goal is to have the framework in place to make sure we’ve got the schools appropriately planned in Newhall Ranch,” Lauffer said. “We’re looking long-range into building a full-scale community.”

The developer has already finalized its agreement with the Newhall School District for some of the elementary-school needs of Newhall Ranch.

Discussions between the developer and Saugus Union and Castaic Union school districts are ongoing, Lauffer said.

In total, the development is expected to require six elementary schools, as well as the junior high and high schools.

The anticipated number of schools is based on projections involving the number of children the Newhall Ranch homes, condominiums and apartments will generate, Lauffer said.

In the case of the Hart district, which serves the entire Santa Clarita Valley, officials also looked at the existing and projected student enrollment at current junior high and high schools, Lauffer said.

“Our anticipation is that West Ranch (High School) and a new high school in Castaic will add to their mix of schools that are available,” Lauffer said.

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