Construction to begin Monday on new Paso Robles Independence High School building

Construction on the new Independence High School - Paso Robles High School's accredited independent study program ­- will begin Monday at 810 Niblick Road.

Members of the Paso Robles Public Schools board of trustees will be present for the ground breaking at 10:30 a.m.

The project, which includes a five-classroom, 7,565-square-foot structure, is slated to be completed in summer 2010, Assistant Superintendent of Business Gary Hoskins said, to be ready for the 2010-11 school year.

The Independence High School program, located across the street from Paso Robles High School's main campus on Niblick Road, currently serves 187 students and 10 faculty members. The current building was previously home to school district offices before the 1980s.

Its new building, estimated to cost $1.6 million, will be paid for by the state and Measure T ­ the $20 million bond and property-tax increase local voters passed in November 2006 to expand and upgrade Paso Robles High School.

The bond money can't be used to buffer budget cuts, officials said, because it's reserved for high school improvements as locals voted on when they passed the measure three years ago.

-Tonya Strickland