University High’s new home marks beginning of new era for charter school

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University High’s new home marks beginning of new era for charter school

A new era launches Wednesday, Nov. 17, when University High School closes its temporary home of the past 10 years at Fresno State and makes the move to its new “performance-enhanced, student-focused” facility at 2611 E. Matoian Way, also on campus.

The moving day means classes are canceled as student volunteers, parents and faculty work throughout the morning unpacking and setting up the new school. They will start at 7:30 a.m.

The first day of classes in the new school will be Thursday, Nov. 18.

Dr. James Bushman, UHS Head of School, said many worked hard to create the school and moving day captures that spirit with student and parent involvement.

“We wanted to give students a chance to get involved and do their part in setting up their own learning institution,” Bushman said. “What better way for students to take responsibility for their own school?”

University High School was originally charted through Sierra Unified School District in 2000 and now is chartered with Fresno Unified School District. The accelerated college preparatory, music and arts-enriched charter school has been nationally ranked by US News and World Report.

University High is home to 425 students. Throughout its history, it has served 1,000 students who have access to Fresno State facilities, attend college courses for credit and receive a small-school, accelerated achievement high school experience with no tuition. With 98 percent of its graduates continuing on to college, the school provides its students a promising future and now its new building will reflect that, in more ways than one.

Wrapped in stainless steel, the new school has a futuristic look that encapsulates future generations of UHS students and fosters a new tradition.

Designer Arthur Dyson, local and world renowned architect, said the new look focuses on the total student, both physical and academic.

“A school environment was designed utilizing every tool to enhance the student’s comfort and technology needs which in turn will enrich the student’s performance,” Dyson said.

“For educational architecture to be effective, it must embrace beauty, a prerequisite for artistic expression, philosophical inquiry, and intellectual discovery,” he said. “Everything from scale, texture, light and shadow, color, pattern, rhythm, etc. was motivated by a collective vision and desire for a better place to teach and to learn.”

UHS Student Body President Shayan Zoghi: “We feel extremely fortunate and honored to be part of such an important and historic year for our school. “The new labs and classrooms will offer our students more access to different resources.

“The opening of the new school will be a great stepping-stone toward continuing our rich academic tradition,” Zoghi said.

A formal dedication ceremony for the new building is Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Tricia Bowlby, director of development, at 559.287.2799.

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