But he was quick to add:
“The praise belongs to the board of education, to the students and teachers and to all who had a part in creating this wonderful school. I’m just glad to be among them.”
Kimball, a retired Tracy physician and community leader, spoke at the dedication ceremonies conducted in the 400-seat auditorium of Tracy’s third comprehensive high school, which was opened in August.
While construction continued last fall on the 53-acre Kimball High School campus off Lammers Road on Tracy’s west side, 900 freshmen and sophomores started classes in completed classrooms. By the end of 2009, work was completed on remaining campus elements, including two gymnasiums, a football and soccer stadium, a swimming pool and athletic fields.
Next fall, some 600 incoming freshmen are expected to swell total enrollment to 1,500 students. The following year, the new high school will have students in all four years of study.
The school, designed by Urban Ernst Design Group using standardized building plans and constructed by F&H Construction, has a price tag of $82 million, including $62 million in construction costs and an estimated $20 million for property acquisition.
During the dedication ceremony, Dr. James Franco, superintendent of the Tracy Unified School District, of which Kimball is a part, noted that all of the funds used to build Kimball High came from local developer fees and matching state funds. By law, he stressed, the money could be used only for school construction and not to alleviate the district’s current budget crunch — by June, Tracy Unified must trim $12.9 million from its budget.
Following the ceremony, Kimball High students gave guided tours of the school’s facilities, and visitors were served refreshments in the school cafeteria.