CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- The City of Chula Vista is teaming up with local high schools to help beautify one of its most important corridors.
Students from High Tech High began painting a mural Tuesday on a business near Broadway and E Street, the first of five new student-painted murals planned along the Broadway corridor this year.
Broadway is the highest revenue-producing corridor in the city, said Chula Vista councilmember Jill Galvez, but a 2019 survey by the Institute for Public Strategies highlighted community concerns with graffiti and vandalism.
In the survey of 160 businesses along Broadway, more than 70 percent said graffiti and vandalism were a top concern.
Galvez challenged high schools to paint city utility boxes last year and says it’s been successful at deterring graffiti.
“Artists respect other artists’ work,” she said.
“We’ve already seen the delight of people driving by to see beautiful artwork. It brightens your day. This is going to be the first of many projects along Broadway,” she added.
In addition to High Tech High, she said Castle Park High School, Chula Vista High School, Hilltop High School and MAAC Community Charter School are working on murals.
Two classes of seniors led by art teacher Chelsea Smith. She said students came up with designs then voted on their favorites as a class. Local businesses then voted on the finalists.
High Tech High students are covering two sides of Wild Woolly's Saloon, a frequent target for taggers. One side will depict a floral scene, the other will feature beach imagery and a classic car.
"I think it's great. I hope it puts a stop to the graffiti," said Autumn Hammer, the bar's manager.
Among the student painters is Conner Boggan.
“I live in this side of Chula Vista, so it’s definitely really exciting to see this happening in my community,” he said.
“A lot of what people think of Chula Vista, especially this side, is that it’s dirty. This is something that can help change that mindset.”