Grand ReOpening for Durfee School
“This is beautiful!” exclaimed many of the people who walked through the completed second phase of new construction at Durfee School. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held as El Monte City School District welcomed the community into their new modern design, state-of-the-art school.
Under a red and gold balloon arch, the community gathered in the new courtyard at the entrance to the school. EMCSD Superintendent Dr. Maribel Garcia warmly welcomed the large crowd. The Star-Spangled Banner was sung by Cristel Garcia, Deliah Hernandez, Gadi Hernandez, and Destiny Salguero. Teacher Chris Price accompanied the singers on trumpet.
In addition to leading the flag salute, eighth grader and Student Body President Arianna Gordon gave an inspiring speech where she thanked everyone for their “phenomenal work in giving the students of Durfee an awesome place to learn and grow.”
Deputy Superintendent Kris Olafsson gave the crowd a bit of history as he gave an account of the building history of the school. Olafsson thanked the community for the passing of bond measures and everyone else involved in the project from the architects, Westberg+White and Harley Ellis Devereaux, to the construction management team, APM, Inc.
“It is evident that our community places great value in the children of the El Monte City School District,” remarked Superintendent Garcia. “We are so grateful to the community for giving us the ability to build this beautiful school and we invite everyone to share in the experiences these fine buildings will offer.”
The new buildings include a library, kitchen and a multipurpose room with a stage and large sliding doors at the back that open up to the outside. The new administration building includes new offices and a professional development training center.
Classrooms were upgraded with new teaching walls, carpet, windows, sinks, and energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems as well as energy saving LED lights. Almost 30,000 square feet of new construction was added in addition to 30,000 square feet of classroom renovation.
Just before the ribbon cutting, School Board President Jessica Ancona, along with Board Members Jennifer Cobian, Elizabeth Rivas and David Siegrist, unveiled a commemorative plaque that is permanently installed just outside the administration building entrance.
While two Durfee students stretched a red ribbon across the stage, Ancona and Cobian cut the ribbon and officially reopened Durfee School.