Renovations completed at two San Ysidro schools after elevated levels of lead found

Students, teachers and administrators at La Mirada and Symthe Elementary schools celebrated the opening of their renovated campuses Thursday — complete with improved plumbing.

The plumbing at the South Bay schools was a huge concern last year after elevated levels of lead were found. 

In less than eleven weeks, the San Ysidro School District spend nearly $28 million to improve La Mirada and Smythe Elementary schools — We’re talking from top to bottom, inside and out.

"The first day students showed up, their reaction was priceless.  Seeing those smiles, they were in awe of this new beautiful school." said Luis Ramos, Principal at La Mirada School. "The classroom from the ceiling to the floor — brand new.  Desks, chairs computers- everything is new." 

Renovations included replacing plumbing, drywall, air conditioning systems, ceiling tiles, lighting, doors, carpet and furniture, while also painting the interior and exterior of each campus.

The principal gave us a tour of the new and improved library at La Mirada Thursday morning while we were live on Good Morning San Diego.
Second grader Justin Espinosa says he loves the new library.  "It has a lot of stuff that’s brand new." 

His mom said it has really made him excited about going to school. "He wants to be here every day. He’s so eager he wants to be in school right now. He’s always wanting to go to school and he wasn’t like that last year."

These are schools that were built in the early 70s and had never undergone renovation. La Mirada students have been without drinking water since last October when elevated levels of lead came back positive. It was turned back on Thursday morning.

Superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca was the first to drink out of the fountain.

"This is something that we’ve been waiting for for quite some time. The safety of our kids always comes first. So today’s such a huge day for us. We are opening up a new school and now to come back and turn on the water for the kids to drink and know they are going to be healthy. It’s just a great day for us!" said Fonseca.

The plumbing was replaced and so was the a/c system.

"This is something that was so needed in this community and rightfully deserved.  I’m so glad we got it done." said Fonseca.

Categories: Local San Diego News