This past September, Norco Elementary School, one of our two projects with Corona-Norco USD, was completed. A two-year labor of love from design through approvals and finally, through completion. With the holidays fast approaching, we were reminded that the year was quickly coming to a close and that many of our deadlines still loomed. It is sometimes difficult to enjoy the moment; to stand still for a brief time and look back at what we have just experienced and have accomplished. It’s easier said than done.
In mid-October, PCH was invited to the Rededication Ceremony for Norco Elementary School. We had been tasked with providing a new campus façade and image, to remove a classroom wing - which included a tiny MPR and kitchen - an undersized administration building, a dilapidated wooden lunch shelter and a portable staff lounge, all while garnering positive input from the Owner, administrators, educators, staff, community, the students and the parents. In short, we believe this project was successful.
I began to think about the term “Rededication.” The School Principal and one of the CNUSD Board Members explained it well by stating, “We are not only rededicating the newly-constructed buildings, but the public resources, the equipment, the technology, the environment and the personnel as well, back to our students, community, educators and parents, investing in the future and providing the tools to achieve success.”
The ceremony continued with the Student Honor Band christening their new stage in their new Multipurpose Building with beautiful music. The acoustics and lighting were as vibrant and bright as the smiles on every face in the room that morning. I began to think that for a brief moment, we could stand still and not think about the immense workload awaiting us back at the office. I thought about the reason we had dedicated our lives to our craft and career; about the comfort we derive from and the justification for why we do our work each and every day. Our profession does make a difference in the lives of our community. So, let’s be sure to take a moment to stop, look back, and savor all the good work that we have accomplished and to rededicate ourselves to our craft.
I would like to thank the following people, and the many hands that helped with the success of this project:
Corona-Norco USD: for giving us the opportunity to participate in this wonderful endeavor.
Lynne Murray: for her great leadership and fortitude.
CNUSD Board Members: for their dedication to educators, to the students and to the community.
School Principals Marcie and Russ: for looking out for the interests of their educators and students.
Aaron, Souky and the team at West Coast Air: for conducting a vast ensemble of contractors to take a set of sheets and turn them into a reality. Bravo!
All at PCH: for making possible what seemed to be impossible.
Greg Chapman and Ralph Pacini: for their friendship, mentorship and over three decades of dedication to our craft as Architects. God bless them. Love you guys. Truly.