Las Flores to open just in time for school

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Las Flores to open just in time for schoolCan you believe it? School opens for the fall on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Are you ready?

There’s great news for students slated to go to Las Flores Elementary School — after being closed for three years for extensive refurbishing, the school is finally ready and is reopening.

Students will find new playground equipment, complete with brand-new rubberized safety surfacing under some equipment, new concrete pathways, new kindergarten buildings, fresh paint and much more.

Best of all, returning students, teachers and parents alike will appreciate the new, more efficient heating and air-conditioning units and the reinforced roofing as a safety measure.

Adults will appreciate the new, safer parking lot, which was completely dug up, resurfaced and expanded. The old trees were removed to make way for the expansion, and new landscaping will go in soon.

According to Principal Michelle Acosta, the campus was closed, from school year 2009-2010 until 2011-2012, to complete the renovations. The entire campus has been rewired and repainted inside and out, with new flooring and carpet and many walls refreshed with tack-able wall surfacing.

Six “permanent relocateable” buildings are behind the new kindergarten buildings.

Students and their parents are invited to a traditional ice cream social, beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13. The social will allow students to meet their teachers and locate their classrooms. Class lists will be posted.

“We welcome our students back,” said Acosta. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the district’s improvements. This school is now a model for the district’s goals for their schools. We’re so very fortunate to have such great advocates for the students.

“It’s beautiful. Students will enjoy walking to school again. It’s now a really welcoming and pleasant campus — the teachers are over the moon about returning,” she said.

This will be Acosta’s fourth year as principal of Los Flores. She has more than a decade’s experience as a school administrator, starting in various schools in Coalingua and Hanford, then spending eight years here in Ridgecrest. “You couldn’t ask for a nicer, safer place than Ridgecrest. It’s a modern-day Mayberry.”

Much of the funding for the refurbishing came from Measure A, the school modernization measure, plus some from Sierra Sands Unified School District’s general fund to complete the job.

Story First Published: 2012-08-08