The Oak Hills bulldog is here and, frankly, he doesn't look like someone you want to mess with.


Oak Hills principal Larry Porras unveiled the new school's mascot, letterman's jacket letters and school crest at Monday's school board meeting.


The bulldog mascot and the school's red, white and black colors were selected by students at Cedar Middle School, most of whom will be attending Oak Hills when they reach ninth grade. The decision by the students has paved the way to a whole series of subsequent purchasing decisions by Porras.


"It really makes it easy to start moving," he said Tuesday, fresh from looking at band uniforms. "There's all kinds of different looks out there for bulldogs and crests. I must have looked at 70 different samples. Certainly once you've got a mascot and colors, the rest comes into focus."


The official Oak Hills bulldog is the product of Hesperia High School art teacher Jennifer Campbell.


"We went out and looked at all sorts of bulldog samples we could find," Porras said. "We kind of got down to a top 15 or so, and then whittled it down to six, and then Jennifer Campbell went in and made all sorts of variations. With a sweater, with a t-shirt, standing up, sitting down, what's it going to look like?"


The bulldog's body might vary for different sports -- there could be a baseball-playing bulldog, a wrestling bulldog, and so on -- but Campbell's bulldog head will always be the same on each, to keep the look consistent.


Meanwhile, the school, being built by ASR Constructors of Riverside, is on track for a grades 9-11 opening in August 2009, Porras said.


"Everything's going fine. They're about 60 percent complete. That's a quote right from the construction site supervisor. They're feeling really good about meeting the construction deadlines, but they're not sitting back and relaxing by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "Their strategy is, in the next couple of weeks, is to complete all the exterior buildings. After that, they'll work on the interiors. ... They're really moving."


In the meantime, Porras has met with the Oak Hills Property Owners Association, and will be taking six of the officers on a tour of the school.


The Oak Hills High School administration and counseling staff should all be hired by Thanksgiving, he said, and all other employees hired by June, all of which is more serious than selecting a mascot the staff and student body can live with in coming decades.


"This is the fun part right now," Porras said. "But fun doesn't necessarily mean easy. There's a lot of choices, and you want one you can live with. If you're going to be in a long-term relationship with anybody, you want to feel good about it."


The next meeting of the Hesperia Unified School District school board will take place on October 6 at 6 p.m. at the Hesperia Administration and Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.