Construction is officially underway on the new Laurelwood Elementary School campus. On Dec. 13, representatives from the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD), the City of Sunnyvale and the Laurelwood School community gathered at the site in the Patrick Henry campus.
“The Laurelwood staff and community are excited about reaching the next step in the project of building a new campus with the groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 13,” said Laurelwood Elementary School Principal Paul Fuller. “We are appreciative of everyone who supported and has worked on bringing the need and dreams of a larger campus to becoming reality.”
Members of the SCUSD Board of Trustees and the Laurelwood community took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking. Fuller and members of his staff were some of the first to shovel dirt, or in this case, sand.
Board President Vickie Fairchild emceed the event and Board Vice President Bonnie Lieberman, who represents the Laurelwood area on the Board of Trustees, also spoke.
Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein addressed the attendees because the new Laurelwood campus will be located in his City of Sunnyvale rather than Santa Clara, where the current campus is located.
Following the event, members of the public were invited to take part in the groundbreaking, put on hard hats and take photos shoveling the sand.
The change of location for the Laurelwood campus will allow more space for the student body. It will include a multipurpose area, kitchen, administrative building and wellness center large enough to accommodate 800 students. It also has space for a preschool and other classrooms that could be later converted to accommodate more students.
“The new campus will bring adequate space for the size of our student body and allow for us to continue a high level of teaching and learning for all of our students while creating new opportunities for our students,” said Fuller.
The design is slightly different from the initial look proposed in December 2021. In February 2023, the Board agreed to downsize the plans for Laurelwood school because of budget constraints and declining enrollment, something that has happened throughout the school district.
The new Laurelwood school site will be large enough to house 598 students instead of the initial plans for 800 students. It will be funded through money from Measure BB.
The new site is set to welcome students in the fall of 2026.
Other guests at the groundbreaking included members of the SCUSD Board of Trustees, SCUSD Superintendent Dr. Gary Waddell, Bond Projects Director Larry Adams and representatives for Congressman Ro Khanna, Assembly Member Evan Low and County Supervisor Otto Lee.