December 12, 2001, Palmdale, CA - Westside Union School District Superintendent Allan Sacks, district board members, construction administrators and project inspectors dug their golden shovels into the dirt on Wednesday, December 12, to commemorate the start of the construction at Esperanza School. The groundbreaking ceremony took place at 3 p.m. at 35th Street West and Towncenter Drive in Palmdale, the site of the future elementary school. Several Flewelling & Moody architects, including Principal Matt Buchanan, attended.

Esperanza School is being built with money from a $14 million bond extension approved by voters in 1998. The new school is needed to ease overcrowding in other district schools, and will accommodate the district's growing student population. "I am excited that this long-time dream is finally coming to fruition," says Allan Sacks, District Superintendent. "This school will truly serve our needs to address our overcrowding in the southeast section of our district."

District architects Flewelling & Moody and general contractor J. Murrey Construction are working closely with district officials to complete the $10 million project. At the heart of the 61,218 sq. ft. campus lies a 27,461 sq. ft. core building that contains a multipurpose room, specialty classrooms, computer lab, library, music room, and administrative facilities. The specialty classrooms are designed to support disabled students, with a larger toilet area, and easily cleaned surface areas. The modular buildings contain single-story classrooms, equipped to support technology and Internet connectivity. Energy management systems have been incorporated into the school design, which will support increased temperature control, resulting in cost-efficient energy use. Outdoors, the school will have hard court areas, field areas, and shade structures.

At this time Esperanza is slated to be a K-5 campus, although the final decision on its grade configuration has not been made. The school will accommodate 750 students, and is scheduled to open fall 2003.