By Jim Shilander

San Juan Hills High School may soon be facing a major attendance crunch, Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Jim Reardon warned Wednesday, and the district needs to be prepared to make “some difficult choices” about the future of the school.

After a presentation by district staff about district facilities needs and potential solutions for high school capacity that showed San Juan Hills may see an increasing number of students coming from Talega following the completion of La Pata Avenue, from Ladera Ranch and some from Rancho Mission Viejo (along with Tesoro), Reardon noted that the current financial climate for the district and state would “make it difficult” to pay for additions to the school. Currently, more than 90 percent of Talega high school students attend San Clemente High School, but Talega residents at the meeting told the board many would prefer going to SJHHS following the completion of the road, since Talega Mello-Roos taxes went to pay for the school. Staff said a survey would likely be taken of parents of Talega’s Kindergarten through eighth-grade students to help determine how many would like to attend SJHHS.

District staff will present a financial overview of potential facilities projects at the board’s May 13 meeting.

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