SCUSD breaks ground on new classroom wing at Theodore Judah

e-Connections Post Theodore Judah

Students, parents, staff and community partners gathered Monday at Theodore Judah Elementary to officially mark the start of construction on a new two-story classroom wing.

“This new beautiful building will add to Judah’s legacy and help our students learn and grow for decades to come,” said Superintendent José L. Banda, noting that Theodore Judah is the oldest continuously used elementary school in Sacramento.

“Like all complex projects, this one didn’t come together overnight,” Superintendent Banda said. “It took a lot of stakeholders working together to make this happen. So today we celebrate the Judah community and its commitment to teamwork.”

Designed by celebrated Sacramento architect Ron Vrilakas, the permanent building will accommodate Judah’s growing student enrollment and programmatic needs. The idea for a new building was first championed by students through Project Green, a district program that encourages campus stakeholders to audit facilities and suggest improvements.

“Students conducted energy and water audits and researched the materials and methods used to make classrooms more efficient,” said Principal Corrie Buckmaster-Celeste. “They learned they could make a real and important difference in their world.”

Construction of the new wing is funded by developer fees, Measure Q bond funds, site funds and a donation from Encore McKinley Village, LLC.

Sacramento voters approved Measures Q and R – facilities bonds for Sac City schools – in November 2012. Measure Q funds are being used to improve schools district-wide and prepare facilities for lower class sizes in grades K-3 this fall. Significant Measure Q-funded projects are already underway at William Land Elementary in Southside Park and the soon-to-be reopened Washington Elementary downtown.

A source of pride for the East Sacramento community since 1937, Theodore Judah was built by Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration in the art deco style popular at the time. The new building is designed to reflect and complement that style.