Groundbreaking for Matilda Torres High School in Madera

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- With a scoop of dirt, Madera Unified is one step closer to opening their new high school, Matilda Torres High School, providing students with new opportunities.

"One of the things that will be here will be advanced manufacturing, culinary arts will also be here and early education pathway," said Madera Unified Superintendent of Schools Todd Lile.

Lile says the new facility, funded by Measure G, will be home to 2,000 students and provide relief for the two other high schools in town.

"This school is desperately needed," said Lile. "Madera South has swollen to just over 3,300 students starting next fall."

It's also honoring teacher and counselor Matilda Torres.

Matilda worked for the school district for 25 years.

She passed away three years ago from aggressive cancer.

"It was just a short time, it was like three months and she was gone, it was just quick," said Matilda's husband George Torres.

Torres says his wife was dedicated to her job and it was the overwhelming response from the community and lives she touched that got her name on the school.

"Normally a teacher's hours are supposed to be from 8 am to 4 pm," said George. "I would have to call and ask where she was at, and she would say, 'I'm still at the school' and it's 8:30 at night."

Now Madera Unified will give Matilda the opportunity to continue doing what she loved: educate children.

"We have a school here that is going to continue supporting and helping the kids and her name will be there, and I think this time she will say, 'this is good'," said George.

The school is expected to open by fall of 2020.
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