August 6, 2021
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA--Collegewood Elementary unveiled its new two-story classroom building during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.
The towering 14-classroom educational complex will officially open its doors to students on the first day of school, Monday, August 9.
“It is my great honor to welcome all of you to this beautiful place where we get to make new memories and fill it with a lot of hope, and laughter, and learning,” shared a beaming Principal Dr. Mary Wendland.
The celebration marked the completion of the $10-million transformational project on the 56-year-old campus funded by voter support of Bond Measure WV.
Campus upgrades also include a new landscaped plaza courtyard featuring the school’s cougar mascot paw grass imprint, new playground, exterior covered canopy, and removal of 14 outdated portable classrooms.
Construction began in November 2019.
“This wouldn’t be possible without a community that’s second to none in terms of supporting kids and education,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.
“We will see the impact of your support for generations to come!”
Board President Layla Abou-Taleb, whose son started kindergarten at Collegewood in 1989, shared that the community had “dreamt of the project.”
“Our school has expanded and grown and we needed this development badly. Thank you for your patience - we made it!”
Teachers, staff, parents, community members, and officials attended the grand opening that culminated with self-guided tours.
“We are very excited to not only be back in person with our students, but to start the year in our incredible new building,” commented fifth grade teacher Lori Huckler.
The new modern classes feature digital projection whiteboards and light fixtures that simulate blue sky sunlight for enhanced learning, creativity, and productivity.
“The high ceilings and bright lights provide an inviting space for students to engage in their learning,” added fifth grade colleague Florence Yu.
“My hope is that the simplicity and contemporary ambiance of the new classroom will help the students and myself focus on what is essential to learning!”
Folding glass walls and skylights bring in natural daylight to support student performance, while outdoor classroom areas lend to project-based learning.
“We’re pretty lucky here!” second-grade teacher Kelsie Boris shared while putting finishing touches on her new 21st century classroom before the ceremony.
“I love flowers and can’t wait to plant some rosemary and lavender seeds in the garden!”
Ribbon Cutting! Walnut Valley USD officials mark completion of a new two-story classroom building at Collegewood Elementary on Aug. 5. Shown: Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor, at right, Principal Dr. Mary Wendland, at center, with Board Members Larry Redinger, Helen Hall, Layla Abou-Taleb, and Dr. Tony Torng. Also shown with Principal’s Council students.
Thank You, Community! New 21st Century Learning Classroom Building at Collegewood Elementary funded by voter support of Measure WV.
Collegewood Elementary staff celebrate completion of the new 21st Century Learning building.
Second-grade teacher Kelsie Boris proudly shows off her new classroom on August 5.
Classrooms were open for self-guided tours following the ceremony.