Bancroft Elementary School Re-Opens With Grand Celebration

Herculean effort repairs school in just five weeks after floods


Students, staff, and families celebrated the reopening of Bancroft Elementary School on Monday, February 26th, returning to the school just five weeks after massive flood damage occurred. A balloon arch in school colors and a red carpet welcomed students arriving at the school, with a high-five line, music, as well as donuts and snacks.

A fire truck and crew were also on hand as well as representatives from the San Diego Sheriff’s office and several community groups. Local media had a significant presence, capturing the celebration and resilient spirit of the school and community.

Bancroft sustained significant damage in the rains and flooding of January 21-22, 2024, requiring new flooring in each of the school’s 36 rooms (32 classrooms and 4 additional rooms) as well as other flood and water damage repairs.


A massive effort by the school, school district, and contractors saw students and staff returning to their school just five weeks after the damage. Among the challenges overcome by the team was sourcing and installing some 40,000 square feet of carpeting.

“We are beyond excited to have our students, staff, and families back at Bancroft,” says La Mesa-Spring Valley Superintendent David Feliciano. ”The past five weeks have shown the tremendous heart, determination, and cooperation of our LMSV community, including school and district staff, local contractors, as well as local, state, and federal authorities, all working together to get our students and staff back at their school as quickly and safely as possible.”

While repairs were being done, students and staff have been learning at Spring Valley Academy, a middle school just over a mile away from Bancroft. “We are so grateful to the SVA staff and students for opening their campus to us,” says Nathan Saucedo, Principal of Bancroft Elementary. “In the midst of a difficult season, they have provided us a warm and friendly place to learn as well as to process the experience of being displaced from our school. Their heart and spirit could not have been bigger.”


Even as the damage was being assessed the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District team was jumping into action, securing space and transportation to Spring Valley Academy and connecting families to resources available to those affected by the floods. They were also working with contractors to make needed repairs to get students and staff back to their school.

Says Dr. Robert Cochran, Director of Business Services & Chief Safety Officer for La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools, “Our Facilities and Maintenance and Operations Teams definitely have the #LMSVHeart. They had one thing at the top of their minds, and that was getting students and staff back to campus as quickly as possible and the team was able to do just that.” The cost of the repairs will largely be covered by insurance, with state and federal funds being made available to cover the rest.

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“We talk a lot about the heart of this district,” says Superintendent Feliciano. “And situations like this go beyond mere words to show what #LMSVHeart looks like in real life. We are fortunate to have a kind, generous, and resilient community supporting our students, staff, and families and we are looking forward to this celebration.”

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