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Old 04-17-2011, 01:45 PM
 
213 posts, read 647,308 times
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Hi all,

My husband has been investigating opportunities for when his current job ends next year, and Fort Huachuca keeps coming up as a potential option. My first thought was that I wanted nothing to do with Southern Arizona, but I spent a little time reading more about it this week and thought it might be worth considering.

Our biggest question would be about the schools. I've looked at the ratings, but they don't really say enough. I'm concerned about SV having one huge high school, rather than 2-3 smaller ones which would seem more common in most cities this size. My specific questions about the schools would be:
  • How do they do for kids with minor special needs?
  • Does the high school have options for students to earn college credit while in high school?
  • Does it have any kind of agriculture or construction trades program?
  • Is bullying a big issue or do the students seem accepting of kids who are different?
My other big concern is the weather. I've seen a lot of positive things said about the weather, and understand it isn't as hot as Tucson or Phoenix, but I'm a northern girl and am really not used to the heat. I don't think I would miss the severe winters, but in the summer my heat tolerence seems to reach its limit in the mid-90's. I'm also used to cooler nights and mornings - does it cool down much in the evenings there?

I'm also interested if there are areas within commuting distance (up to 30-40 miles) that would be more in the mountains and be cooler... and/or have better schools. And if you get into the smaller towns, what are the politics like? I'm fairly moderate, and not a fan of the Tea Party / Constitutionalist branch that so often gets associated with Arizona. Any info would be appreciated!

And one final question... not that it's a deal breaker, but... just how far would you have to drive to be able to go skiing?

Thanks for any info!
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
20,460 posts, read 24,525,208 times
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Well, I can't say anything about the schools, but I can tell you about the weather. Folks outside the state all seem to think that southern Arizona is all a bleak, lifeless furnace - and that is simply not true. The first thing you need to understand about the climate down there is the MAIN determinant for the climate is the ELEVATION - you have to remember that on average the temp will fall by 3-4 degrees or so for every 1,000 feet in elevation gain. The second thing you need to understand about the climate down there is that there is a general elevation gain as you head east from the California border towards the New Mexico border. Yuma for example (by the border and on the Colorado River) is at a mere 200 feet and is very very very hot in the summer. Phoenix - which is a bit further east is up at around 1,000 feet and therefor is just a little bit cooler (though still a furnace in the summer). Tucson - which is even further east - is up at 2,400 feet or so and thus is a bit more temperate (with average summer highs topping out at around 100). Benson is a bit further east as well and thus is even higher and even more temperate (average highs top out in the mid-90's). Happily, Sierra Vista is even higher - at around 4,200 feet or so and thus has (in my opinion - as well as many others) one of the BEST climates in the ENTIRE continental US. Summer average highs there are typically in the low 90's and - trust me on this (I used to live back East) - the low 90's in AZ is PRETTY PLEASANT - and easier to take than the mid 80's back east (because of the lower humidity of course).

//www.city-data.com/city/Sierra-Vista-Arizona.html

Ken

Last edited by LordBalfor; 04-17-2011 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:22 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
20,460 posts, read 24,525,208 times
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PS - if you want higher elevation than SV, there's always Bisbee (5,300 feet) - average summer highs are generally in the mid-upper 80's. For me though, it gets a bit colder than I'd like in the winter (I prefer that the average overnight lows remain above freezing).

http://www.weather.com/outlook/drivi...graph/USAZ0016

Ken
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
3,063 posts, read 5,908,615 times
Reputation: 2418
I lived just 10 miles down HWY 92 in Cochise County in the Hereford Area. My property was at 5100'. The climate is for most a very nice place to live and it's a pretty green area of the state. My wife was born in Tombstone many years ago.
It could hit 100° there but it normally did not last long. Low 90s in the summer was more the normal. I don't know what your humidity index is like where you are where you day mid 90s are about your limit but humidity is pretty low in AZ. When it does rise up in late June/July it's usually just before a monsoon storm goes through cooling things off for the afternoon.
At the base of the Huachuca mountains up high on the valley it was windy. I got winds there well over 60 MPH on my WX station a few times a year so be prepared. Many people had roof damages there on a regular basis or so it seemed.
I can't address the schools as my kids were grown when I lived there.
Skiing? You are looking at the Flagstaff area or Utah as far as I know for the closest skiing. Most in AZ that came from snow climates want no further part of snow.
We left SE AZ for a milder climate and 4 seasons in Prescott almost 3 years ago now.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:45 PM
 
Location: California
396 posts, read 857,002 times
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For skiing, supposidly Mt. Lemmon has some of it (but its a pain to get up there I've heard). The nearest decent ski area would be about 3-4 hours up north.

And no offense to Lord Balfor but, please don't entertain Bisbee... that is unless you like the smell of weed in the air and old hippies that refuse to think its not the 1960's anymore.

As for cooler nights in the summer, I heard that sometimes it is still 80 degrees out.

However, weather in Oct to March is like San Diego weather.. moderate temps and sun.

Regarding schools, Sierra Vista is a pretty good size town (I think like 45000 people) so I doubt it would only have 1 high school.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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I haven't a clue about the schools, the weather is the best in the country except that it blows through at 50 mph. I love it here but you can't put out Christmas Decorations or you'll be watching them blow away. I have a friend in the building business, he is subsisting on government contracts on the fort until he can sell a house he builds for more than construction costs.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
3,063 posts, read 5,908,615 times
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Fort Huachuca as some schools on it for early grades but no high school.
There is only 1 and that's Buena.
And I don't know what is so surprising about 45k and one high school. The town I came from in CA only had one high school until the population got well above 65K.
Yes the enrollment was high, but it was a huge campus too with it's own swimming pool, 2 gyms, tennis courts and a full industrial arts complex located on some 200 acres.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:48 PM
 
213 posts, read 647,308 times
Reputation: 180
Thanks for all the replies... it's greatly appreciated!

I'm much less afraid of the weather than I was. The humidity is relatively low where I currently live, so my mid-90's tolerence is a dry heat tolerence - my humid heat tolerance would be more like 75. But I'm OK with a few days in the 100s as long as it isn't the norm for months on end.

Bisbee might be nice climate-wise, but hearing about the culture it probably wouldn't be the place for us. I could see myself becoming an old hippy once the kids leave home, but it doesn't sound like a good place for a family.

So, SV sounds better than Bisbee, but I still worry about schools. I've researched and confirmed just one public high school, the enrollment is something like 2600, and it sounds like that's more than it was built to handle. The places I'm used to try to keep high school enrollment to not much over 1500, so I'm not used to seeing schools that big at all. I'm hoping it means they have a lot of different programs, but I haven't been able to find many details.

We're going to dig a little deeper into the job potential, and if it looks promising, then we'll probably visit over the summer and I can see for myself how the heat feels!
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
3,063 posts, read 5,908,615 times
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I cannot remember when they built the new high school, but it's quite large and a newer complex.
Tombstone, which is not that far away just built a new high school if I remember right a few years back.
My high school in CA had an enrollment of some 2600 in 3 grades when I attended in the 1960s.
My wife's school here in AZ had 42 students in 4 grades.
Quite a difference.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:39 PM
 
13 posts, read 21,546 times
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how are the private schools in sierra vista then??? anyone know?
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