“Dead” Mountain House Community Showing Signs of Growth

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY-

This August, one of the newest high schools in the state is scheduled to open in a planned community that some had written off as a dead project.

Many who live in the community of Mountain House, just northwest of Tracy in San Joaquin County, believe the new school is a sign their housing market is finally improving.

From the outside, the high school appears complete, and families FOX40 spoke with see this new campus as a milestone for their community, a community many said would fail.

“We moved here in 2005, it’s a long time coming, and it’s a dream come true,” Caroline Davilla, a mother, said.

VIDEO: Planned Mountain House High School is Milestone

Another mom, Lisa Boulais, added, “It’s nice that they can go to High School right in town it’s within walking distance.”

The new high school’s principal, Ben Fobert, also lives in the Mountain House community. “This school represents the re-birth of our community,” he said.

Not too long ago, many questioned if the school would ever be built, or whether Mountain House would exist at all. The master-planned community broke ground in 2007, right before the housing bubble and recession plunged cities and construction projects into bankruptcy.

“It was a long hard fight, the economy tanked, people moved out, people foreclosed on their homes people wrote Mountain House off as a dead community. It was reported in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times,” Fobert told FOX40.

But many who had bought homes in Mountain House decided to stick it out. Slowly, they say the foreclosed homes and unsold lots filled back up.

“If you drive around Mountain House now, you see homes popping up everywhere,” Fobert said.

Now, the high school football field and stadium has the potential to bring the community together like never before.

“You wait. That first football game when the lights go on, this whole town is going to be there. There’s nothing better to do, that’s all they talk about,” Fobert said.

“All of my friends play football,” Cameron Davila said. He’ll be part of the school’s inaugural class of about 500 students. “We thought we’re going to have to go to a Tracy High School but once they said they were going to build this it was really important to us,” Davila said.

Once the school opens in August, Fobert and others believe it won’t be long before commercial stores follow suit.

Another sign of growth, not too far away the second elementary school in Mountain House is being built.

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