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Construction to begin on long-awaited high school in Somerton

Somerton High mockupA new DLR Group-designed high school in Somerton is one step closer to reality as general contractor and project partner McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is scheduled to begin construction this month. Yuma Union High School District, in partnership with Arcadis, has announced a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the construction milestone at the corner of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Jefferson Street on November 6 at 2 p.m.

The San Luis High School band, led by Director Jesus Peralta, will take part in the ceremony and YUHSD Career & Technical Education culinary and hospitality students from Kofa, Yuma, and Cibola high schools will provide refreshments. Somerton High School Planning Principal Lucky Arvizo will MC the event. Students, staff, and community members are invited to the ceremony.

“Arizona’s schools and educators do incredible work to keep students on the path to success, and I was proud to sign a state budget that supports all they do for kids and families,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “Schools throughout Yuma Union High School District challenge students, help them prepare for their next steps, and help them grow in and out of the classroom. My thanks goes to Superintendent Gina Thompson and all the educators, school leaders and community members who have made supporting students their top priority.”

Somerton, which is located near the U.S.-Mexico border, was the largest city in Arizona without its own high school. Once completed, the school will become the district’s seventh high school and will support future growth in the region.

“In Yuma County, students are clearly a priority evidenced by the on-going investment in quality academic environments.  The Yuma County voter approval of the 2015 Yes! Yes! Bond Campaign, YUHSD70 fiscal planning over time and the recent support in the Governor's budget for over $32 million dollars will provide the necessary funding resulting in our newest high school, Somerton High School,” said YUHSD Superintendent Gina Thompson.

DLR Group’s design reflects the agriculture community and prepares students to contribute to their local economy after high school. The design also incorporates the Colorado River Delta that breathes life into this fertile desert region through a shaded outdoor courtyard that runs through the heart of campus. This space is a place for students to gather and learn together.

“More than 30 percent of Somerton students are expected to enroll in career and technical programs at the new high school that will prepare them for the local workforce. To bring awareness to and showcase these courses and offerings, DLR Group’s multi-building campus design positions each CTE program in a jewel box along the courtyard,” said DLR Group Principal Carmon Wyckoff, AIA. “Our design reinforces the district’s mission to support educational excellence for all students.”

“Everyone on McCarthy's Yuma team feels so fortunate to be a part of this project, working in collaboration with our partners at DLR Group, Arcadis and the district to make the new high school a reality,” said John Kovesdy, McCarthy project manager. “Thanks to the commitment and tenacity of the Yuma Union High School District and community members, students of Somerton are going to greatly benefit from having a new high school that provides the educational curriculum for every student to be college, career and community prepared. We look forward to bringing this long-time vision to life and building an exceptional new school for the community to celebrate and embrace.”

The high school is expected to open in August 2023. 

About DLR Group
DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. Our promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group is 100 percent employee-owned and fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge, and is an initial signatory to the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment.
Our view of the world.

About McCarthy Building Companies

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 9th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2021). With approximately 3,700 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Eric Patten