Skip to main content

Walnut valley Unified School District

Main Menu Toggle
ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Grand Opening a Slam Dunk

NEWS                                                              Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            880 S. Lemon Avenue
February 11, 2011                                           Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Grand Opening a Slam Dunk
Chaparral Middle School Celebrates New Gymnasium
New Building made possible through the support of our community!

DIAMOND BAR, CA—Walnut Valley Unified School District officials, Chaparral Middle School staff, students, parents, community members, and local dignitaries proudly celebrated the official opening of the school’s gymnasium on February 10.

The ribbon cutting ceremony included an open house with student entertainment provided by the Electric Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and concluded with a student vs. faculty exhibition basketball game.

The $3.95 million building was made possible through funds from the support of our community.  Modernization on Walnut Valley School campuses is underway through funds from Measures S & Y passed in November 2007.

“It was the vision of the School Board to turn to the community and the community responded by voting to support education and our Walnut Valley Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin.

For nearly 35 years, the school only had the use of a small, now outdated multipurpose room for meetings, drama productions, and assemblies. This new facility opens the door to serve sports teams, music programs, school assemblies, and more.

“Chaparral has never had a gymnasium on campus and this new facility means so much to us!” said Principal Ron Thibodeaux.  “We are truly here to acknowledge our community for making this possible.”

“It was our dream and now it’s a reality!” Thibodeaux said. 

“This is a great day for us,” said “Board President Cindy Ruiz. The community and school district have worked hard to achieve this goal, she said.  She thanked Chaparral teachers for their patience working through the changes during construction.  She also thanked community members for their support in passing Measures S & Y.  “Without your support, our students could not benefit from new buildings like this.”

Presentations of certificates were made by representatives from the Offices of U.S. Congressman Gary Miller, Senator Bob Huff, Assemblyman Curt Hagman, Mayor Pro Tem Ling-Ling Chang and Council Members Ron Everett and Jack Tanaka from the City of Diamond Bar.

The new gymnasium was completed after nine months of construction and the 8,600 sq. ft. building is already serving students.  School basketball teams are playing and the school orchestra has held a concert.

“We’ve been playing dodge ball during P.E. and the stereo system is great!” said 8th grade Wind Ensemble member Colleen Sam. The tuba player is among the group chosen to perform in the 2011 Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival in Chicago, Illinois on March 26.  

“This gym is a good addition to the school.  It’s really cool and means a lot," said 8th grade Leadership member Ruby Abutaleb.  

Leadership students, all wearing bright yellow jackets, helped assist guests to the gymnasium and passed out event programs.

A high spirited exhibition basketball game was held as the event finale.  Faculty won (37-26) the game versus a combined team of 8th grade students.  Retired Athletic Director Bill Fleming returned to join faculty team.

“Being able to play in the basketball game against this year’s 8th graders in our new gym was a blast!” said English teacher Enoch Choi. 

“Having a gym on our campus has been long awaited, so it was a real privilege to see it dedicated to the school, students, and community.  We had a great turnout, lots of food, and of course, winning the friendly staff vs. students’ basketball game was a nice bonus,” he added.

The building has a rubber sports flooring floor finish, a main basketball court and two practice basketball courts with motorized equipment and wall padding at each backstop. 

There is also a main volleyball court and two practice volleyball courts with floor sleeves for the volleyball equipment.  The building has two wireless scoreboards for basketball games.  25 skylights provide natural lighting into the building are tied into the lighting system to conserve energy throughout the day.  On the exterior of the building there is 8 foot high by 80 foot long rock climbing wall 85 feet long with rubber matting for students to transverse across the wall for PE activities.

Athletic Director Paul Ruiz said that the multi-use facility will allow the PE staff and coaches an indoor space to provide instruction as well as competition. “Our PE program now includes rock climbing as well as indoor games and fitness. The athletics program will also benefit with indoor basketball and volleyball games,” he said.

There is also a complete sound system with wireless microphone, LCD projector and a large LCD projector screen.  A motor operated gym divider curtain can separate the building into two separate areas for different class activities.  The gym will feature two sets of motorized bleachers that will seat approximately 318 people. 

Part of this project was to install a complete new electrical switch gear which will not only serve the gym building, but will also sever all the new future buildings and has been tied into the existing building. As part of the underground utilities, all underground utilities, sewer, water, storm drain, electrical, low voltage, and fire service utilities are all in place for all future buildings.

Future modernization projects on the campus will include new science complex , performing arts wing, food service facility, and modernization of the existing building interior.

1.  It was a shining day as Chaparral Middle School celebrated the official grand opening of the new gymnasium. Shown: CAPA President Jane Sun, Board Members Cindy Ruiz, Nancy Lyons, Helen Hall, Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin, ASB President, 8th grader Ruben Reyes, Principal Ron Thibodeaux, Board Members Larry Redinger, Carolyn Elfelt, and Community Club President Yara Sands.
2.  ASB President Ruben Reyes gets ready to cut the official ribbon at the grand opening ceremony with Principal Ron Thibodeaux at his side.
3-4. The Chaparral Electric Orchestra, under the direction of Greg Rochford, played several selections including Thriller, We Are The World, and Joy to the World during the gymnasium open house reception.

5. Several students practiced their rock wall climbing skills during the event including 6th graders Nicole Song, Sammi Kim, and Kristie Hyun. 
6-7. The Chaparral Wind Ensemble was set up on gymnasium center court for a performance that included Nottingham Sketches, A Tribute to Grainger, Horkstow Grange, Singapore Rhapsody, and Sparks.