Students of Cloverland and Fair Oaks elementary schools were treated to a special surprise as they returned from summer break earlier this school year. As they said their goodbyes to the respective campuses last May, a construction crew got to work.
The project being taken on at both sites would prove to be one of epic proportions and transformations, as both past multi-purpose rooms were transformed to library and media centers.
“We’ve talked a lot about attitude,” Superintendent of Schools Marc Malone said of the decision to convert the spaces. “We’ve made $10 million in facility improvements the past four years.”
All of the money used, Malone noted, was acquired through developer fees paid to Oakdale Joint Unified School District.
Each of the new library/media centers is located at the front of each campus, making a noticeable impact on students, parents and campus visitors. Taking the spaces from the once dark, dated and dingy, however, required consulting with a design team, as well as an architect.
“All the lighting, all the electrical, all the data drops, have been updated from the 1940s,” Malone explained.
Sentiments from both campus Library Technicians confirm the campus pride Malone hoped to achieve via the update.
“The kids love it,” Fair Oaks Library Tech Geneva Franciosa said. “The space the kids are able to work around, is amazing. My other library was very small. The space has just made it that much nicer.”
“They have thought that the transformation has been awesome,” Sheryl De Leon said of the Cloverland Cougars. “I loved my little library, but this is nice because we have more space.”
Among the many new and modern additions to the libraries is the amphitheater type seating, where students gather for story time.
“It’s been really fun to see the kids’ excitement,” De Leon continued. “To see the expression on their faces. Just to hear what they say about it. That’s really been awesome.”