By C. Jayden Smith
Since San Clemente High School first opened in 1964, the campus library has seen only a few upgrades, with marginal work done to replace portions of the building. School officials have noted that it’s heavily dated and doesn’t suit the needs of students in the 21st century.
“It’s a library of 20 or 30 years ago; it’s dark, and it’s not an appealing place to gather,” explained Garry Green, president of the San Clemente High School Educational Foundation, which provides supplemental funding for the school’s academic programs.
Envisioning a new look for the library, one where students enjoy gathering and PTSA and English Language Advisory meetings can take place, Principal Chris Carter called on the help of the foundation, as many of its initiatives such as After School Tutoring also utilize the library.
Green told San Clemente Times that SCEF, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is always looking to make substantial impacts as the foundation matures. He cited the group’s purchase of 640 Chromebook computers for the school as an example.
With that sentiment in mind, the SCEF’s governing board this past September voted to provide the school with $250,000 so it could refurbish the library.
“As an organization, we decided to step forward and agree to go ahead and fund the remodel and the upgrading of the library,” Green said.
The project, which is expected to be completed before fall 2023, includes installing a high-quality multimedia projection system for presentations and videos, as a lack of wall space discourages having multiple screens. Green also mentioned the addition of more comfortable seating and high-top tables.
“Optimally, we’d like to see a library where students are eager to go and study, work with other students and collaborate … really showcasing an element of pride in the school.”
Carter has also been involved in the design process, as he’s worked with varying furniture companies with design teams that have experience in redesigning libraries across the country.
SCEF will shoulder most of the renovation costs, but the Capistrano Unified School District will also contribute by redoing the flooring and removing old furniture. The foundation will install the newer furniture.
Green expressed SCEF’s excitement in sharing the news of the upcoming upgrade with the San Clemente community, and added that Triton Night, an event on Nov. 12 that features dinner, games, and live music, would be an opportunity to help support the foundation’s efforts.
The services provided by SCEF were beyond what other school districts provide, Green said, which couldn’t happen without the backing of the foundation and community support.
“When I say community, the community is really parents, students, local businesses and residents of San Clemente that see the same vision we do,” said Green. “You’re trying to deliver a world-class education to all students, and that’s really what we’re here to do.”
C. Jayden Smith
C. Jayden Smith graduated from Dana Hills High in 2018 before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in digital and broadcast journalism from the University of North Texas. After graduating in December 2020, he reported for the Salina Journal in Salina, Kansas. Jayden loves college football and bothering his black lab named Shadow.