Officials and students celebrated the opening of Selby Lane School's newly renovated library with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 12.
The library renovation, which began in March, includes new furniture, 700 new bilingual books, new carpeting and paint, a designated reading lounge, digital display screens and 32 Chromebooks, said Eric Anderson, communications and U.S. public affairs manager for Pharmacyclics, which is run by AbbVie, a Chicago-based biopharmaceutical company. AbbVie funded the project and worked with The Heart of America, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that promotes volunteer service and literacy. Just outside of the library, some of the 100 volunteers who helped with the remodel painted a map of the U.S., and sanded and repainted benches.
"We look at all schools within districts that our employees live in," Anderson said. "We always want to give back to schools whose children need it most."
At Selby Lane, 70.2% of students are on free or reduced lunch plans, according to California Department of Education 2017-18 data. Half of the students are English language learners, according to the data. The Atherton school is part of the Redwood City School District.
The "transformed" library has an open layout that can accommodate bigger meetings, said Selby Lane Principal Warren Sedar at the ribbon cutting.
This is the sixth year that Heart of America has partnered with AbbVie to create STEM-focused spaces all across the country, Jill Heath, president and CEO of The Heart of America Foundation, said in a press release.
Selby Lane is going through other transformations this year. Four schools in the district are closing and others are merging because of budget cuts. Adelante Spanish Immersion School in Redwood City will be absorbed into the Spanish immersion program at Selby Lane. At the start of the 2019-20 school year, Selby Lane will temporarily be known as Adelante Selby Lane Spanish Immersion School until the school board votes on a new name for the merged schools, Sedar said.
With the merge, the preschool through middle school will nix the middle school portion of its school, Sedar said. Enrollment will stay at around 720 students, he said.