The planning process for “high school #4” began four years ago in 2000. An education specification committee was formed. The committee was made up of school administrators, teachers, board members, and community members who spent a great deal of time investigating and discussing the design elements needed for the newest comprehensive high school for the Lake Elsinore Unified School District (LEUSD). Specific to their discussion included the following features:
- A flexible floor plan that easily adapts to changing curriculum
- A facility that supports academic achievement A room design that fosters teacher collaboration
- A campus plan that supports athletics and extra-curricular programs
- A building that houses career pathways
A safe and secure environment for learning
- A premier performing arts facility and curriculum
- A facility that featured state-of-the-art technology that would prepare students to face an ever changing world
- A joint use library formed with the County of Riverside Library system that would offer students and the community access to a vast variety materials
Next, the committee set about visiting newer high schools to investigate whether or not a building already existed that housed all the design elements that were a priority for the school. The District’s Facilities Department met with officials of the California Department of Education, Office of Public School Construction and the Division of the State Architect to see if a high school had been built in the state California that met the rigid requirements of the education specification committee of the District. High schools were visited up and down the state. After an extensive search, it was determined that an Arizona architectural firm, HDA Architects & Planners, had already designed and built a high school that fit the LEUSD priorities for its newest high school.
Pinnacle High School Phoenix, Arizona
The design elements include the following (beginning at top right and going clockwise): Performing & Visual Arts building; Gymnasium complex; 2-story classroom building; Student Cafeteria; Administration building; Library/Media center; 2-story classroom building (2 classroom buildings opposite each other). The school has a large interior gathering area for students and the athletic facilities are outside the gym area (stadium, swimming pool, soccer fields, baseball & softball fields, football practice fields).
The new high school was located on 72.3 acres and began construction in June of 2003. Edge Development was the chosen contractor. The total cost of the land, construction and miscellaneous expenses was approximately $74,000,000.
A name for the school was chosen in February, 2004. The LEUSD governing board solicited ideas from the community and considered several suggestions. Lakeside was chosen as the name due to the campus’ close proximity to the lake and the name affiliation with the community of Lake Elsinore.
After a 6-month search that began in January, 2004, a principal was selected. Mrs. Lorie Reitz began her duties on July 1, 2004. Her experience as a high school principal, commitment to high achievement by all students, and enthusiasm to open a new high school campus contributed to her selection by the LEUSD board as the new principal.