Sequoia Union breaks ground on TK-K building

Sequoia Union School Board members break ground at the site of the new TK-K building. (left to right) Lane Anderson, Cody Bogan, Greg Dunn, Missy Myers, and Jason Castillo.(Kenny Goodman)

Sequoia Union kicks off their grand renovation project by digging into the ground which will soon hold their new TK-K facility

LEMON COVE – Big changes are coming to Lemon Cove’s Sequoia Union kindergarten through middle school campus, which is being spearheaded with the construction of a new TK-K building. While the overall plan will take several years to complete, local students and their families can get excited for what’s to come.

“Today is a big day for our school district, our students, our staff and our community,” said Ken Horn, the site’s superintendent during the event. “This new building is a big step in the modernization of our campus.”

The groundbreaking ceremony for Sequoia Union’s new TK-K building was held on Nov. 15, kicking off the beginning of what should be “a little over a year” of construction, according to Horn. The four classroom structure will have its own playground, interior bathrooms and a teacher work area.

“This is a very exciting time for our school,” Horn said. “While we will be losing some of our elementary play area, (as well as) our basketball courts for a period of time (to make way for the TK-K building); new courts and play areas will be built after the construction is completed.”

Funding for this new facility came from the Transitional Kindergarten-Kindergarten Grant, which was made available after the state of California “pushed all those grants to the front of funding.” As stated by Horn, the campus still awaits funding for its other projects, such as two new buildings and an on-site farm, which will be used by students and introduce an FFA program.

“There’s a modernization grant that we applied for, which we also got, that will allow us to remodel our two (outdated) buildings,” Horn said to The Sun-Gazette. “They’ll be totally overhauled with new technology and lighting, as well as new carpeting and outside stucco.

Their hope is to build and complete the additional buildings, which will provide 12 more classrooms, by the end of 2026, which will then house the faculty and students from the outdated 10 classroom facility as it receives its modernization.

“Over the next few years, we will get used to the noise (and) the dust and the progress that is coming from our new construction,” Horn said during the ceremony, noting to The Sun-Gazette that the district hopes to “have everything done by 2028.”

Regardless of how long it takes, Horn hopes the improvements to the campus will entice parents from not only Lemon Cove, but also Exeter, Woodlake and Three Rivers to consider enrolling their kids at the charter school.

“We’re expecting slow, incremental increases, which will allow us to plan and make sure we have adequate staffing,” he said. “Right now, enrollment is around 380 students and, while we could probably grow to 500, we’d like to keep it around 450.”

As for those 380 students currently enrolled, Horn and his colleague noted “they are really excited” and had fun watching the demolition of the basketball courts prior to the groundbreaking event.

“This is going to be one giant shovel for Sequoia Union (and) one giant leap forward for our students,” Horn said as district staff grabbed their shovels, and ceremoniously dug them into the ground, ushering in the campus’s next era.

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