IRVINE, CA—Construction begins September 25 onthe new Portola Springs Elementary School campusat 12100 Portola Springs here in theVillages of Irvine, Irvine Unified SchoolDistrict reports. The school is currently operating froman interim site, occupying the previously shutteredWestwood Basics Plus School for one year while thepermanent, state-of-the-art facility is being built.


The new campus is projected to open in August 2016. In themeantime, the school's staff is prepping its temporary home, whereit recently held a tour for incoming students and their families.Westwood Basics Plus, located at 1 Liberty, closedin 2009 as students and staff transitioned to a newer campus inIrvine's Stonegate village. In recent years, thefacility has housed district programs and served as a trainingcenter for staff, according to the district.


Transforming Westwood back into a functioning elementary schoolrequired a considerable amount of work, but PrincipalHeather Phillips sees some advantages to building a schoolcommunity prior to populating a new campus. “I was really excitedabout having the opportunity to be at the interim site. I think itreally gives us the option and the gift of time in that we canfocus on building a community with our students, our parents andour staff because we're not focused so much on the facility, butrather the relationship part. If we build that strong foundation,when we move to the new facility, that will be the icing on top ofthe cake.”


Information on the total estimated construction costs for thenew school was not readily available from the district.


As reported last month, following its $2.8-billion merger with WRECO,residential developer TRI Pointe has purchased 649new lots in seven communities in markets across the country. Amongthose were 258 lots in Southern California, including 112 lots inPortola Springs to build Cariz at PortolaSprings, which debuted last month and will containattached homes with seven distinctive floor plans priced from themid-$400,000s.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.