By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
French Camp dedicating multi Feb. 24
pic fc-gym-1a
French Camp School Principal Joanne Balestreri proudly welcomes the new Multi-Purpose Building, which opened during the winter break. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
FRENCH CAMP – The Multi-Purpose Building was a long time coming to French Camp School.

As one of the last major projects of the voter-approved Measure M bond measure, those at the rural school had  to  play wait-and-see a few years ago before finally getting the green light on the project.

“We had to deal with railroad track issue (of being too close to the school) and the possibility of relocating to a new campus,” said Principal Joanne Balestreri on Wednesday.

To mark the opening of the Multi-Purpose Building, a dedication event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m. The public along with the alumni and the current student body and staff are invited to attend the ceremony consisting of a slide show presentation, old photographs, and a performance by the school band.

During construction of the facility, many in the community could hardly wait to see the completed structure mimicking that of the exterior of the original brick building (French Camp School had several incarnations and locations since opening in the 1830s).

“I think my dad drove past that part of the school almost every day,” recalled eighth-grade student Lisa Robles, who has been at French Camp since the third grade.

Another eighth-grader, Wyatt Berchtold, was proud to be part of the French Camp tradition. He’s a third generation student of the school.

“It was awesome when (the Multi-Purpose Building) finally opened,” Berchtold said.

According to Balestreri, the new building consisting of gymnasium / cafeteria opened in December. She and her staff relocated the main office – included are the administrative offices, lobby, teachers lounge, and conference room – to the new building during the winter break.

Some 650 students returned to class in early January and were greeted to the new addition of the school, with an assembly kicking things off.

“They were excited and eager to play (basketball) in the gym,” said program coordinator Annie Cunial.

 The excitement didn’t stop there.

“We’re looking forward to being the first class to graduate (eighth grade),” said Michelle Hernandez, who is the student body activities commissioner.

The vacant space at the old building will soon accommodate the French Camp Pioneer Preschool, which had to be moved to make way for the Multi-Purpose Building.

More information on the opening ceremony of the facility can be obtained by calling French Camp School at 209-938-6370.