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New $26 million Bonsall Elementary School dedicated

After 18 months of construction and a few delays, the new $26 million Bonsall Elementary School was officially dedicated on September 12 as a functioning part of the Bonsall Union School District (BUSD).

The district’s Board of Education was present at the special dedication program, and Dr. Sylvia Tucker, clerk of the board, congratulated the district administration, saying they “deserved a celebration” for all the work and effort that had been put in to complete the elementary school and put classes in order for the 2008-2009 school year.

According to BUSD Superintendent Dr. Justin Cunningham, the only remnant of the original school that remains is the fourth grade wing, which was converted into the district offices. The remainder of the old buildings was flattened in order to construct the new, more suitable classrooms for the Bonsall students.

Amidst the well-wishers who attended the dedication program of the school were the Ruhnau, Ruhnau Clarke architects and planners, board members, project directors, Erickson Hall Construction Company managers and 66th District Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries.

During the ceremony, Assemblyman Jeffries presented Bonsall Elementary Principal Lori Cummins and Superintendent Cunningham with an American flag and a California state flag from the licensing office in Sacramento. He remarked that it was nice to be in an area where “things seemed to be going right, rather than being in Sacramento” for a change.

Superintendent Cunningham thanked the guests for attending the ceremony as well as the BUSD administration for their work during the school’s construction. Cunningham said he felt the administration had done its job to create a superior learning environment.

“School is like a church,” he said, “because it creates the right kind of environment needed for what is going on inside. I think that we have succeeded in creating the right kind of environment here at Bonsall Elementary.”

The school’s new grounds include more than 930,000 square feet of construction, which includes 45 classrooms, an administrative center, a multipurpose room which contains the kitchen, a large enclosed outdoor eating facility, a new library and a new hard surface play area.

There is still construction taking place on a play field, which is located on the southern part of the school’s property. Construction on the play field is estimated to be finished within the next two months.

After the conclusion of the ceremony, visiting officials and other guests were invited to walk the school campus, visit classrooms and talk to teachers about the subjects that would be taught in the class. Some were even introduced to a small portion of the school’s student body, who sang a few introductory numbers at the beginning of the dedication.

The final cost for the school construction was nearly $26 million, with more than $17 million coming from bonds and the interest from those bonds. The rest of the expenses were paid from monies given to the district from the state and the school district’s general funds.

Bonsall Elementary School has anticipated growth as the Bonsall community continues to receive new families and has left enough room for five more relocatable classrooms if they are needed in the future.

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