It may be just cardboard and ink, but the billboard on Fifth Avenue symbolizes a plan for something truly unique.

"With this sign there's a promise of a school building," said Chala-Love Salisbury, the academic director of Crosswalk: Hesperia Experiential Learning Pathways School.

And that's just for starters.

When completed, the new Pathways to College campus a school under the Crosswalk charter will be one of the most innovative K-12 campuses in the state. Located on the school's eight-acre parcel, the 40,000-square foot campus will feature a host of environmental features including solar panels, tubular skylights, a cooling tower, wind turbine and an environmental demonstration area.

"There were literally hundreds of applications," said Steven D. Prince, associate principal of the Ontario-based architectural firm, HMC. "This was the only one in the county to get the funding."

According to Salisbury, the project, which will be built in several phases, could break ground next summer.

Grades will be grouped into "Pods of Learning," which tentatively include K-3 Butterfly Pod, 4-5 Vegetable Pod, 5-6 Desert Studies, 7-8 Recycling Pod. The high school will be a biology pod that will teach subjects that could point toward careers in environmental-related fields.

Pathways to College received it would receive the $8.8 million state grant last May. The school was one of 29 charter school grants issued but the only one in county.

Also on hand at the Friday, Nov. 14 sign dedication were Pathways students and several members of the charter school's board of directors. Present were Board President Dr. Claude Noel, Clerk Maude E. Mitchell, board member Salle Bayer and several interested parents.

The new project has numerous pluses, according to Prince, whose company has been in the school-building business for decades.
"It's good for the community as a whole," Prince said.

For information on enrollment, call Pathways to College at 949-8002.