It was a sloppy, messy job, but a dozen Thousand Oaks students couldn’t wait to do it.
Working with shop teacher Randy Porter, the high school students spent Monday morning pouring the concrete foundation for a replica of the Conejo Valley’s first schoolhouse.
This winter’s heavy rains delayed the long-planned reconstruction of Timber School, a one-room wooden schoolhouse with a bell tower that served the community from 1888 to 1924. But with spring’s official arrival last week, the students finally got to begin building the full-scale replica, which will stand next to the Stagecoach Inn Museum off Ventu Park Road in Thousand Oaks.
“Pouring the foundation was pretty important for the morale of the students,” said Porter, a Newbury Park High School teacher who has overseen planning and design of the replica for a year and a half.
“It was a muddy, heavy, cold type of work, but after Easter vacation we’ll begin building, and that will be a lot of fun,” Porter added.
The $30,000 reconstruction project is being funded by area Rotary Clubs, and materials and services are being donated by local businesses, Porter said. Antique stores and Ventura County schools have offered some turn-of-the-century classroom pieces to furnish the new school.
The Conejo Valley Historical Society will offer tours of the schoolhouse when it opens next fall.