Yesterday marked the dedication of San Mateo’s new Fiesta Gardens International School, one of three schools to complete campus modernizations and upgrades funded by Measure L.
Beginning last Wednesday, three of the five San Mateo-Foster City School District schools slated to undergo monumental improvements at the behest of the 2008 majority-voter approved bond measure have been dedicated.
A ceremony held on Sept. 25 at Baywood Elementary School in San Mateo highlighted its new large group instruction room and classroom buildings. Next Wednesday, community and local supporters are invited to attend a dedication at Foster City Elementary School. Foster City School received numerous upgrades, among them overall campus modernizations, new classrooms and field and playground restoration.
Measure L was approved in the amount of $175 million to improve the overall quality and safety of the 15 elementary schools, one K-8 school and four middle schools in the San Mateo-Foster City School District. Improvements include fencing and security, paint, classroom additions, multi-purpose and administration buildings, sod fields, playground structures, plumbing, electrical, technology and more.
Yesterday’s dedication at the year-round Spanish Immersion magnet school on Bermuda Drive was held inside the school’s newly constructed multi-purpose room, flanked with blue and white balloons to commemorate the celebration. A handful of City Council members from San Mateo and Foster City attended, as well members of the district maintenance and facilities divisions.
Fiesta Gardens Principal Varina Williams, who worked as a teacher for nine years at the school before taking the helm two years ago, said that since the improvements have been made to the school, the students are enjoying a whole new and fresh learning environment.
“It has been an amazing experience, our kids can learn in a whole new way with more interactive technology,” Williams said. Since the erection of a new multi-purpose room, a new computer lab has been crafted in the school’s old multi-purpose room. The spacious, angular room now holds 35 black desktop computers with ample space for kids to learn.
Allison Rowland, whose third-grade son Mateo attends Fiesta Gardens, said the old space where the computer lab now sits couldn’t come close to accommodating the school’s 507 students for an assembly.
“Now it’s wonderful, we love all of it,” she said. Rowland is particularly fond of the upgraded systems inside the classroom with its document cameras and sound system for all students to see and hear the lessons.
Construction on the nearly 7-acre campus began in July 2011.