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Pasadena Community Invited to Tour Jefferson School Campus on Saturday After City Repurposes the Campus

Published on Friday, November 4, 2022 | 5:52 am

Jefferson Elementary School, which was closed in 2020, is now home to a new Pasadena library facility, fire department training center, and the police department’s Police Activities League (PAL) and Explorer Program facilities.

The City in coordination with Councilmember Felicia Williams is inviting the community to explore these upgraded facilities on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for an open house and tour of the Jefferson School campus at 1500 E. Villa St.

“This is a great event to reactivate the campus, bring the community together, and highlight a successful collaboration between the City and Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) to provide more services to families and residents,” Councilmember Williams said, adding the school has been upgraded and painted, with pickleball courts planned.

“Soon you will see kids back on campus for after-school programs and library services. This is a creative and effective use of school properties that I hope we can duplicate on other campuses,” she said.

At the Open House on Saturday, community members can expect a fun-filled day with Marshall Fundamental students providing music entertainment, local businesses selling coffee and ice cream, and Pasadena firefighters offering free hot dogs.

“Look out for the police helicopter landing, fire extinguisher demonstrations, and arts and crafts in the library,” Williams said. “Most importantly, it is a chance for neighbors to come together, build community, and even put on a fire uniform if you want!” 

Jefferson Branch Library

The new Jefferson Branch Library will be open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m. Library activities will include storytimes, youth programs, and teen volunteer opportunities. PUSD also plans to offer a Homework Help drop-in program starting in 2023.

The library will be offering special collections for checkout, including educator and homeschool collections, board games, video games, book club kits, Chromebooks and hotspots, early reading kits with a focus on equity, jigsaw puzzles, juvenile Spanish materials, mental health kits, sensory storytime kits, and STEAM kits.

The branch library also houses the City’s Office of the Young Child and Teen Mental Health information centers.

For District 2 residents, the newly renovated school and the combined facilities there will certainly add more opportunities and services.

“New services for the public include library children and teen programs, Police Activities League/Explorers, and we were able to find another site here for pickleball,” Williams said. “The fire training center has been here for more than a year and graduated three classes already. With future Police officers and firefighters at the campus interacting with the neighbors, it sets the stage for strong community-first responder relations, and possibly more recruits from the community.”

The Pasadena Fire Department has converted some of Jefferson School’s classrooms into training labs for emergency medicine and fire and rescue simulations. Two classrooms are being used for continuing education and in-service classroom training, and additional classrooms are for office space, separate male and female locker rooms, and a wellness/exercise room. Outdoor grounds are used for hands-on training, including vehicle extrication, hose and ladder operations, and scenario-based evolutions. The city said 14 of the department’s newest firefighters completed their academy training at Jefferson.

A “pump pod” has also been included at the site to allow for water to be recycled during various exercises, significantly reducing water waste.

“A million thanks to former City Manager, Steve Mermell, PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald, and the PUSD Board for being forward-thinking and seizing this amazing opportunity,” Williams said. “Also to City staff for coordinating all of the logistics with a laser focus on bringing more services to the community.”

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