February 18, 2022
By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA—A staged row of glistening golden shovels signaled the construction ceremony at Walnut Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon.
Walnut Valley USD marked the groundbreaking for the new $7.3 million multipurpose and classroom building funded by Measure WV.
“When I think about projects like this I get super excited about the impact it will have on kids for generations to come,” shared Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor during the February 16 ceremony.
“Thank you to our community for your ongoing support of our schools!”
The new 7,500 square-foot building will feature three 21st century learning classrooms and adjoining multipurpose room with open-concept ceilings, stage platform, storage and control rooms, LED lighting, and energy efficient HVAC systems.
The multipurpose room (MPR) will replace the original structure built in 1976 that the school outgrew decades ago.
“This new state-of-the-art building will provide our campus with a larger space to accommodate student activities and events,” shared Principal Robert Chang.
Student speaker Riley de Jesus recalled that attending assemblies in the MPR had been “very crowded.”
“Future students will be able to enjoy class plays, student performances, author visits, and many more wonderful things,” the fifth grader noted.
Dual Language Immersion program fifth grader Sara Gidcumb believes the new building will bring joy and comfort, as well as good luck.
“I remember there was barely enough room to walk with everyone sitting row after row in the tight, cramped space,” Gidcumb said.
“Now, with a new MPR, we can fit more students into one assembly instead of doing multiple assemblies for each grade.”
Alumna Seema Bagai said that a lot had changed when she returned to the school as a teacher in 1999 including new staff, taller trees, different playground equipment, and more classrooms.
The multipurpose room, however, was exactly the same.
“We have outgrown our school’s gathering place, but fortunately, that’s about to change!” the fifth-grade teacher said.
“In this new building, memories will be built for generations of Walnut Colts.”
The Board of Trustees awarded the contract for the building to New Dynasty Construction at the November 17, 2021 meeting.
The winning bid for the project designed by SGH Architects was $7,297.000.
“For the first time in decades, nearly half a century, we’re actually witnessing a new structure being built from the ground up,” Principal Chang said.
“And I think that is a huge, huge thing to celebrate!”
Construction began on December 20, 2021 and is slated for completion in Spring 2023.
Thank You, Community! Walnut Valley USD celebrates groundbreaking of new multipurpose and classroom building at Walnut Elementary on Feb. 16. Shown: Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor, Teacher Seema Bagai, Student Sara Gidcumb, Student Riley de Jesus, Principal Robert Chang, Trustee Cindy Ruiz, Trustee Layla Abou-Taleb, Trustee Helen Hall.
We Dig It! Walnut Elementary staff gathers assemble with shovels and hard hats at groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 16.
Tax Dollars at Work! New multipurpose and classroom building breaks ground at Walnut Elementary.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor thanks community during Feb. 16 groundbreaking ceremony.
Principal Robert Chang welcomes parents, students, staff, and local officials during Feb. 26 ceremony.
Fifth grade teacher and alumna Seema Bagai shares memories during Feb. 16 groundbreaking ceremony.
Walnut Elementary fifth-grade student speakers Riley de Jesus and Sara Gidcumb.
Principal Robert Chang and student leaders commemorate groundbreaking of new multipurpose and classroom building.