19Construction continues at a rapid pace to keep up with projected enrollment at Desert Sunrise High, which opened in July. 

City and school officials toured ongoing work Thursday at the city’s second high school, which in its first year has only sophomores and freshmen. The plan is to add a junior class next year and the first senior class the year after.


Watch video of how the completed Student Commons will look here!


Dignitaries gathered in the soon-to-be Student Common area, which is to have an amphitheater-type environment, with seating inside and outside. The outside area will have turf. A large sliding door will allow for performances to be viewed from inside. 

“Picture the orchestra, the band, the dance crew, a play, a debate, a poetry slam. That’s the kind of work that we will have here (in the Student Commons area),” Maricopa Unified Superintendent Tracey Lopeman said.  

Alongside the stage, the school plans to have a “learning stair,” which Lopeman described as a “dynamic learning space that inspires great thinking.” Principal Marlene Armstrong said the Student Commons is going to be the center of the school. 

“Our career center is going to be housed here, so anytime students are wanting to talk about future goals, to do some research on what it is they want to go into as a profession, they will be coming in here,” Armstrong said. 

Armstrong added that the school’s current library will be relocated from the classroom building into the new Student Commons building. 

According to Lopeman, the Student Commons is scheduled to open for the 2023-24 school year. 

Related: MUSD celebrates construction progress on 2nd high school – InMaricopa 

Following the presentation in the Student Commons area, guests received a student-led tour around the functioning part of the campus, which includes rooms for band, sports medicine, gymnasium, STEM, cafeteria and current library. 

The band room is fitted with instrument storage and is near the football field for staging before events. 

Sports medicine has a large classroom, including one side with desks in a lab environment. The other side has medical-treatment benches for hands-on learning. 

The STEM room has many VEX robotics sets, where the construction of robots has begun. Two 3D printers are in the STEM room, as well, and were in operation as the tour passed through.  

The current library has many books and many spots for students to relax, read or work. 

View a photo gallery of the event by InMaricopa’s Bryan Mordt below: