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Serra Mesa is a neighborhood in San Diego, California. It is located between Interstate 805 and Interstate 15, north of Friars Road and south of Aero Drive. Serra Mesa is named for Father Junípero Serra, a Majorcan (Spain) Franciscan friar who founded the Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Adjacent neighborhoods include Kearny Mesa, Tierrasanta, and Birdland.
The neighborhood has a total population of approximately 24,000 people, with 8,374 housing units, most of them single family.
The area was originally part of the Mission Rancho Lands of San Diego granted to the Catholic Church by the King of Spain. When the Missions were secularized by Mexico in 1834, the land was deeded over to various men, including Don Santiago Argüello, who eventually divided and sold some 15,999 acres (65 km2) of land.
More modern development of the neighborhood began after the Korean War, when the Navy built its Cabrillo Heights housing project in the early 1950s.
The greater Serra Mesa Planning Area also includes the neighborhoods of the Lincoln (formerly Cabrillo) Navy Housing, Cabrillo Village, Cabrillo Heights, Mission Village, Montgomery Field, the Kearny Mesa Industrial Park, Spectrum Center, and Birdland, which is home to three hospitals (Sharp, Mary Birch, and Children's], including two of the six designated trauma centers in San Diego County as well as the only women's hospital and the only hospital dedicated solely to pediatric care. The Cabrillo Palisades Apartments, six acres of the Civita development (formerly Quarry Falls), Stonecrest[disambiguation needed], and the western slope of Murphy Canyon fall within Zip Code 92123. Escala, along with Fenton Parkway (Costco) are part of Mission Valley (92108), but feed into the Taft Middle School service area.
Schools in Serra Mesa include Will Angier Elementary School, Harry M. Wegeforth Elementary School, John Paul Jones Elementary School, Ellwood P. Cubberley Elementary School, Benito Juarez Elementary School, and William Howard Taft Middle School. Students in Serra Mesa usually then go on to attend Kearny High School. Fletcher Elementary School serves the Birdland community which proudly defends its own identity. Fletcher Elementary students move on to Montgomery Middle School in Linda Vista (San Diego 92111) and Kearny High School. All of these schools belong to the San Diego Unified School District. Residents of Juvenile Hall attend classes administered by the San Diego County Board of Education. The San Diego Unified School District maintains an Instructional Materials office in Birdland. St. Columba Catholic Church operates a parochial school (K-8). The San Diego Hebrew Day School (K-8) is located on Afton Road. The San Diego Community College District operates its North City Campus at 8401 Aero Drive.
Ruffin Canyon Open Space Preserve is 84 acres (340,000 m2) of native habitat, running north and south nearly the length of Serra Mesa. This canyon preserve is being restored by a local group called the Friends of Ruffin Canyon.
The Serra Mesa Community Center has a small community park which includes a ball field, two playgrounds for young children, an outdoor basketball court, and an indoor basketball court. The recreation center offers after-school and seasonal activities for children. This park is located near Wegeforth Elementary School and St. Columba Church. Murray Ridge Park is near the intersection of Murray Ridge Road and Mission Center Road. Cabrillo Park is between Angier Elementary School and Highway 805.
In the Federal Government of the United States, Serra Mesa is represented by two senators from California and one U.S. Representative from [[California's 52nd Congressional District]], which covers a socioeconomically diverse area including all or part of La Jolla, Lakeside, Poway, Downtown San Diego, El Cajon and other parts of San Diego County. As of 2012, the U.S. Representative for Serra Mesa is Duncan Hunter, a Republican, while the U.S. Senators from California are Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats.
In the government of California, Serra Mesa is partially represented by California's 39th State Senate district, currently held by Christine Kehoe, a Democrat. The district is located entirely in San Diego County, stretching from downtown San Diego northward to Del Mar and eastward to Lemon Grove, including all Western and Northern districts of San Diego proper. Party registration leans heavily toward the Democratic Party, although no party has a majority. California redistricting in 2011 affected this district, but not in Serra Mesa.
Also in the state government of California, Serra Mesa is represented by California's 76th State Assembly district, currently held by Toni Atkins, a Democrat. The district also represents 15.05% of San Diego County and 34.61% of San Diego city, all told. Party registration leans heavily toward the Democratic Party, although no party has a majority.
In the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Serra Mesa is represented by Republican Ron Roberts, who is also Chairman. In the San Diego City Council, Serra Mesa is represented by Councilman Scott Sherman in District 7. Rich Grosch represents the neighborhood in District C of the San Diego Community College District, but it will switch to District B in the next election cycle, while Keven Beiser is the representative in District B of the San Diego Unified School District. John Witt represents Serra Mesa in the 1st District of the San Diego County Board of Education.
The County of San Diego Operations Center is located near the northern boundary of Serra Mesa. Many County Government Agencies are located on this campus-like setting on Overland Avenue. Other County Offices are located in the area, particularly along Ruffin Road. San Diego Superior Court is located on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. The San Diego County Sheriff's Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the San Diego Police Department Eastern Substation are also located in Serra Mesa. Juvenile Hall, Juvenile Court, and the San Diego County Probation Department are located in Birdland.