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Corps, CalGuard open youth facility

Published March 16, 2012
Officials (with scissors), including Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Corps Project Engineer Maj. Phillip Oster and Los Angeles District Commander Col. Mark Toy, cut the ribbon officially opening the Sunburst Youth Academy facilities at Los Alamitos March 16, 2012 as Corps Resident Engineer Mike Siu, Corps Quality Assurance Representative Jim Miller, Executive Officer Maj. Kenneth Shubert, Corps Project Manager Shawn Basu and Corps Project Engineer Greg Ripperger look on.

Officials (with scissors), including Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Corps Project Engineer Maj. Phillip Oster and Los Angeles District Commander Col. Mark Toy, cut the ribbon officially opening the Sunburst Youth Academy facilities at Los Alamitos March 16, 2012 as Corps Resident Engineer Mike Siu, Corps Quality Assurance Representative Jim Miller, Executive Officer Maj. Kenneth Shubert, Corps Project Manager Shawn Basu and Corps Project Engineer Greg Ripperger look on.

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District team members joined Rep. Grace Napolitano, Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar and California National Guard officials to ceremonially open the newest, state-of-the-art facility for the Sunburst Youth Academy at the Joint Forces Training Base here March 16.

The Corps managed the $1.6 million renovation project constructed by contractor Alpine Diversified, Inc., of Palmdale, Calif. Alpine performed the work within budget and nearly three months ahead of schedule. The contractor renovated nine classrooms and several offices, turning dilapidated buildings into world-class teaching facilities.

“You could see the impact that it had on everyone who was involved; that they put their hearts and souls into this,” said Maj. Kenneth Shubert, Southern California Area Office executive officer. “We gave them exactly what they wanted and now they can use it to make, arguably, a really positive impact on the community.”

Shubert said many local business leaders and city officials participated in the ceremony that featured academy staff and cadets.

“The dedication of these state-of-the-art classroom facilities was made possible through the extraordinary efforts of the governor, the state legislature and our California federal delegation,” said Brig. Gen. James Gabrielli, commander of the California National Guard’s Youth and Community Programs Task Force. “The California National Guard values this opportunity to serve the youth of our state who demonstrate the greatest need, and we are committed to providing the best learning environment possible. Sunburst Youth Academy changes lives.”

According to its website, SYA, established in 2008, is a community high school run by the California National Guard, in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education, for 16- to 18-year olds who have either dropped out of high school or who are considered at-risk.

The residential “military style” academy is structured to promote an academic environment where cadets earn 55 high school credits, develop leadership, cooperation and academic skills, while improving self esteem, pride and confidence.