Construction at the new Juvenile Justice Campus in Kearny Mesa is making considerable progress as several buildings are nearing completion.
Phase 1 of the three-phase project includes the new San Diego SOAR Academy facility, which was originally slated to be completed in early 2022, but new estimates suggest it could be finished by the end of this year. Phase 2 includes construction of a new facility for adjudicated students and phase 3 includes demolition of the old administrative building and construction of a new parking lot. San Diego SOAR Academy is one of the San Diego County Office of Education's Juvenile Court and Community Schools.
The new San Diego SOAR Academy complex will have four buildings that house the administration, classrooms, career technical education, and gym. These new facilities will enable JCCS to offer enhanced educational opportunities to its students. Additional features include:
- CTE center, including classrooms for building and construction, graphic arts, information and communication technology, and horticulture
- Culinary arts classrooms
- Performing arts class and stage
- Gymnasium with full regulation basketball/volleyball court and a weight room
- Multipurpose room
- Amphitheater seating
- Health and wellness center
- Multiple cooling off/restorative conference areas
- Multi-purpose track and field
- Multiple recreational courts, trees, and open areas
According to San Diego County Probation, the school is expected to be completed in September or October with the student living units shortly thereafter. The process for moving students will take several months, with all students expected to be in their living spaces by January 2022.
"It is an inspiring time," said Principal Joanne Finney. "And while there is much to do, when all is said and done, our school campus will be a shining testament to folks working together for the good of our students and our county."
San Diego County Probation said the new facility is designed to be more like a campus with buildings on the outer perimeter and gathering spaces in the center. For the last three years, the Probation department and juvenile justice partners have been partnering with national experts from Georgetown University's National Center for Juvenile Justice Reform to match the probation department's operational best practices. This technical assistance is known as the Youth In Custody Practice Model. The group was consulted on the campus's design and they collectively believe if could become a national model for other agencies to view.