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City Building ‘Bridge’ to Year 2064 : Thousand Oaks: Group devises plan for time capsule to be buried outside Civic Arts Plaza. Artifacts may include kids’ predictions for the future.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

If our great-grandchildren want to check out a video of this year’s Thousand Oaks City Council meeting, they just might get a chance--in the year 2064.

They might also get to flip through the yellowed pages of a high school yearbook from the Class of 1994. Heft a stone from the Civic Arts Plaza construction site. Or marvel at the antiquated data in a decades-old science textbook.

All those artifacts of modern-day Thousand Oaks will likely end up in an elaborate time capsule called “The Roots of Our Lives,” slated for burial in an oak-shaded courtyard outside the Civic Arts Plaza.

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On Wednesday, the 18 residents who dreamed up the idea will present their vision to the Civic Theaters Commission at a 7 p.m. meeting in City Hall. The commission has already approved the concept of the capsule. Wednesday’s meeting will offer the first look at the details.

“We want it to be like a bridge between generations,” said organizer Marion Schillo, wife of Councilman Frank Schillo. When the capsule is opened in 2064, to celebrate Thousand Oaks’ centennial, “it’ll remind the (residents) that every city is built on the people who were here before,” she said.

That is, assuming the people who live here in 2064 remember to open the capsule.

“A lot of times, capsules are just plain lost,” committee member Marge Wilson said. “We don’t want our capsule to disappear into a hole in the ground.”

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To keep the Thousand Oaks capsule alive, organizers plan to anoint 50 children as guardians.

These keepers of the capsule will attend the initial ceremony this fall, then return in two decades to celebrate the city’s 50th anniversary by adding more artifacts. At that ceremony, they will select another group of youngsters to carry on the tradition at the city’s 75th birthday bash.

A final batch of children will preside over the grand unsealing as Thousand Oaks celebrates its 100th year.

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The original capsule and future additions will all be buried in a cement vault, which will double as a bench outside the Civic Arts Plaza. A decorated stone wall will provide a scenic backdrop, embellished with a copper oak tree and a textured mountain ridge.

“We wanted to highlight it in some way, so in five or 10 years, people remember where the heck it is,” Schillo said.

All told, the bench and the plaque and the artifacts will cost about $7,100--considerably more than the capsule committee’s original budget of $5,000. But committee members feel confident they’ll find the extra funds somewhere, with help from the City Council and the Civic Theaters Commission.

In the meantime, they’ve been seeking items to include in the capsule, hoping to represent all aspects of the Conejo Valley.

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