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What does this new Sanger campus have to do with Fresno? A lot

Fresno Bee logo Fresno Bee 10/13/2021 Thaddeus Miller, The Fresno Bee

Oct. 12—Sanger Unified's shining new high-tech campus is a sign of the growth coming to Fresno's fastest-growing sector, leaders said Tuesday.

The $54 million first phase of what is to be Sanger Unified's second high school and middle school campuses is in the city of Fresno at Fowler and Jensen avenues. Officials lauded it Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting.

The campus is being called Sanger High West for now. Students will eventually get the task of officially naming the new high school and picking its mascot.

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said the city plans to build space for 40,000 new households at that edge of town.

"The southeast of Fresno is going to be the fastest growing of anywhere in Fresno," he said. "We're going to need more educational facilities."

There are a couple of new subdivisions going in across Fowler Avenue from the campus that will eventually hold 2,900 students, and more subdivisions planned in the area.

The 561,900 square feet of campus structures will have academic and administration buildings, a media center, two gymnasiums and a theater. The athletic facilities planned include multiple fields, tracks, two pools, courts and more, as well as a football stadium that could hold 8,500.

Fresno City Council President Luis Chavez represents the southeast corner of the city, which touches school districts in Fresno, Clovis and Sanger.

He said the city's general plan has room for those 40,000 households, and he said the city should be considering increasing that number.

"If you look at the geographical area of the city, they can't grow to the north. This is the growth area, the new frontier for the city of Fresno," he said.

That sector of the city has seen some development of Fancher Creek, a large shopping center city leaders often say will rival River Park in what shops and eateries it offers.

The areas in Fresno County that experienced the greatest growth spurts according to the latest U.S. Census numbers were at the eastern edge of Clovis and the southeastern part of Fresno.

Chavez said the goal is to make the area a "20-minute neighborhood," meaning school, shopping and entertainment are all within a 20-minute trip of the homes.

Sanger Unified Superintendent Adela Jones said the district of 13,000 students adds about 250 new students a year.

The Sanger Unified School District Board of Trustees was expected at its Tuesday night meeting to officially designate the Sanger High West Campus as its second high school and middle school.

More buildings are planned just north of the standing structure.

Sanger's voters approved two bond measures — Measure S in 2015 and Measure A in 2018 — for more than $150 million to get the projects going.

"Planning for that (growth) has been very key for us to do," she said.

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