Oakley residents in the area west of Empire Avenue, which also happens to be within the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) boundaries, have had to deal with the inconvenience of commuting to schools in Antioch.
Now, thanks to a partnership between Oakley and AUSD officials, this group, which dubbed itself the Oakley Orphans when pleading for inter-district transfers from Antioch to Oakley a couple years ago, will have a neighborhood school to call its own.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for Orchard Park Elementary School, an $18 million facility on Live Oak Avenue near Oakley Road scheduled to open next September. The campus includes 30 classrooms in five buildings, a library, administration and multipurpose buildings, a playground and play areas.
Photo by Ruth Roberts
Initially it will serve about 750 students in kindergarten through third or fourth grade. The AUSD plans to survey Oakley residents and conduct a demographic study to determine the number of students who may be attending the school.
At the school's groundbreaking last week, Oakley and AUSD officials lauded the realization of the long-time dream.
"We are just so excited about the project," said AUSD Superintendent Dr. Deborah Sims. "It's the perfect example of a partnership that works to blend the two cities together."