December 12, 2001, Newhall, CA - Wiley Canyon Elementary School hosted a ribbon cutting and open house on Wednesday, December 12 to dedicate the recently constructed core building, and the modernized existing facilities.
Students, faculty, administrators and parents filled the new multi-purpose room where the festivities took place. The ceremony began with Cub Scout Troop 498 leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Wiley Canyon Choir sang the school song. School board member Sue Neiberger welcomed and thanked members of the District Oversight committee who approved the allocation of Measure K moneys. Two of the buildings were named in honor of a former principal and current office staff member, who were recognized for their dedication to the school.
In June 1999, Newhall School District was successful in passing Measure K, a $35.5 million general obligation bond. With the bond funding, state funding, and strong developer mitigation agreements the District has embarked on a course of improving school facilities to ensure they meet the needs of the growing student enrollment. "Our Measure K campaign theme was that our buildings should be, and could be, as good as what goes on inside of them," said Dr. Marc Winger, Superintendent. "Wiley Canyon is a shining example of that idea."
In recent years, Wiley Canyon Elementary School -originally constructed in 1969- has faced the demands of increased technology needs, rising enrollment, and aging facilities. The $5.8 million modernization/expansion program addressed these key issues, and resulted in a redesign of the school site, construction of a new building, and modernization of the existing buildings. District Architects Flewelling & Moody, and Bernards Brothers Construction Management, worked closely with school officials and a site planning committee to ensure the modernization would meet the needs of students, teachers, administration, and community members.
The new 20,835 sq. ft. building houses the library, multipurpose room, fine arts classroom, community room, and administrative offices. In the school's original design, these communal areas were scattered throughout three separate classroom wings. Through the construction of the new building, the school developed a more prominent presence-by moving the main offices to the corner of Wiley Canyon Road and La Glorita Circle-and transformed the three existing buildings entirely into classroom wings, creating additional classroom space.
The modernization includes enhanced classroom technological capabilities, new energy-efficient lighting, new finishes, new windows, new cabinets to increase storage spaces, interior and exterior painting, and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access improvements. Overall, the modernization will improve the learning environment for the children with better lighting, improved technology access, more classroom space, and a more organized classroom environment. On the exterior, students have new playground equipment, and an improved playground organization.
Feedback from teachers and the administration has been extremely positive. "The staff and students at Wiley Canyon have been very patient during the modernization," says Flewelling & Moody Project Manager Utar Pollard, "And now, with the work completed, they're really enjoying their new space."