San Diego County High School Moves Ahead on Career Tech Center

By Eric Althoff

VISTA, Calif.—General contracting firm Erickson-Hall Construction Co. is working to bring the new Career Technology Education (CTE) building to Rancho Buena Vista High School. The firm recently broke ground on the CTE, which is being funded thanks to the voter-approved Measure LL, which allocated $247 million in bond funds to upgrade colleges throughout this area of San Diego County.

The CTE, located at 1601 Longhorn Dr. in Vista, will help train students for various professional capacities and vocations through a program of various hands-on courses and career-preparation materials. Among the specific fields of instruction to be offered at the CTE will be construction, metalworking and welding.

Architect of record AlphaStudio Design Group is working with Erickson-Hall on the project, which recently broke ground at a ceremony attended by the designers as well as personnel from Rancho Buena Vista High School.

“With this new CTE building, we will be able to expand career and technical education access to students aligned to the growing priority work sectors in San Diego County and the Southern California region,” Dr. Matt Doyle, superintendent of Vista Unified School District, said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “We’re excited about how this facility will transform the educational experience for our students and expand their career opportunities upon graduation.”

Jim Fisher, project executive for Erickson-Hall Construction, said that locating the CTE on the existing campus grounds of Rancho Buena Vista High School proved to be a bit of a logistical and safety-related headache.

“Like most educational projects, we’re working in an environment where staff, students, and teachers are in close proximity—even in the summer months,” Fisher said. “At Rancho Buena Vista, we’re between educational buildings and the very popular ball fields.

“The key is to collaborate closely with…maintenance staff, teachers [and] district leadership to ensure frequent and open communication. As such, we’ve stayed completely in tune with the sports schedules.”

Fisher also stated that the CTE has been an especially rewarding project for Erickson-Hall, not the least because it will get students interested in the very construction sector he and his firm work in.

“Many districts have done a great job integrating auto shop and mechanics into their curriculum, but some trades are not acknowledged in shop programs,” Fisher said. “It’s exciting to see this facility designed specifically to train students who will seek jobs in our industry, and to see the school system recognize our worth in the coming economy.”

Erickson-Hall reports that they have completed over $1 billion in school-related construction across the firm’s project portfolio.