Construction on New Aquatic Center for UC Schools Has Begun

Ghada Atalla, Staff Writer


Construction that will benefit the greater University City area has begun adjacent to Standley Middle School, where a new aquatic center is being built and Sprekels Elementary school is being modernized. 

   According to a post card sent to University City residents by the San Diego Unified School District, “Standley Park improvements include a new pool, an outdoor pavilion and community gatherings and a walking and running path,” and “the Whole Site Modernization of Spreckels Elementary School includes a new two-story classroom building and a new joint-use grass playfield that replaces the new grant used granite field.”

      “Joint-use improvements at Standley Middle School include a pool amenities building housing outdoor showers, changing rooms, restrooms, and support spaces. Renovations to Spreckels Elementary School include the construction of a new student pick-up/drop-off area and additional off-street parking, creation of secure controlled visitor entry point, and major upgrades to the existing classroom, multi-purpose, and administration buildings,” the district added. 

   According to an article titled “Construction Alert: Standley – Spreckels Joint-Use Improvements ‘Imagine UC 2020’ Expected to Begin Soon”, “The project will include an aquatic center, a jogging path, a stage/pavilion and a grass field for Spreckels. It will be joint-use between the city and the school district because they will be used by students during school hours and will be open to the community during off-hours. Within the scope of this project, the school district will also modernize Spreckels Elementary and improve the drop off area and expand parking for the school and the park” (

   “By combining school district and city resources, we are achieving efficient use of taxpayer dollars. We recognize that the long, uninterrupted public space from Standley Middle to Spreckels Elementary is a unique gathering place in University City. Our students will enjoy these facilities during the school hours. The community will be able to run or stroll along the jogging path, swim at the aquatic center, enjoy music and other performances at the stage/pavilion and play in the expanded grass fields,” explained the University City Community Association  (UCCA) (  

   The UCCA added that the outdoor pavilion serves multiple purposes, not only functioning as a school and community get-together space, but as a walking track (  “The decomposed granite walking track provides a loop around the perimeter of the joint-use field and adjacent Standley Community Park. Existing parking at Standley Middle School will also be included for joint-use” (  

   Spreckels Elementary School Principal Cazary Michel said, “We are so excited to be receiving a brand new two-story building, improved parking, front office, and front entrance. All of our existing buildings will be updated both inside and out. Our classrooms will have windows that open. Our loft-style buildings will be gone and walls will be up between classrooms.”

   “The interior of classrooms will be updated with new walls, paint, carpeting, and innovative furniture. Each building will have a center gathering space for classes to come together and learn in new ways! We are excited for our large dirt field to become a grass field and to have massive improvements to our outdoor space including grass areas for classes to go and learn outside,” she continued. 

   According to the San Diego Unified School District, once the two aforementioned projects are nearing their completion, there will also be additional modernization projects at Standley Middle School.