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Norma Coombs Elementary Celebrates Renovations

Students, staff, and families of Norma Coombs Elementary School celebrated the grand opening of two new buildings and other campus improvements at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at 10 a.m. They were joined by Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education President Larry Torres, Board Member Roy Boulghourjian, City Councilman Gene Masuda and other officials.

“The renovations at Norma Coombs Elementary build on the school’s proud history of excellence and provide students with an enhanced 21st century learning experience,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “Our district’s building program supports academics and demonstrates our commitment to creating positive learning environments for all students.”

The campus improvements consist of two new buildings that house classrooms, administration offices, a science laboratory, and a music classroom. A new entry and parking lot welcome students and visitors. Other renovations include the replacement of a boiler and chiller, which lower energy consumption;  fire alarms and security features; a new kiln room for the school’s signature ceramics program; and additional green space. Working with the City of Pasadena, a crosswalk was relocated. The project won a special award for worker safety during construction.

“The new buildings and renovations are a dream come true for our school community. By providing this beautiful environment with all the modern elements, it lets our students and staff know we value them!” said Principal Dr. Jennifer Smith. “The renovations promote teaching and learning, and provide spaces where our richly diverse and talented students can develop into the leaders of tomorrow.”

Norma Coombs Elementary School serves 385 students in pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade, and is dedicated to developing each child’s gifts. The principal, teachers, and staff have worked hard to establish an environment of academic excellence that challenges and engages all students. The Norma Coombs school community appreciates the importance of providing a well-rounded and balanced education rooted in academics that also develops and exposes students to a wide range of experiences. The school has implemented the “Leader in Me” program that develops and empowers students with the leadership and life-skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. For decades, the school has offered a ceramics program that builds students’ motor-skills, allows for self-expression, and promotes application of vital 21st century skills,  problem solving skills, and collaboration.

The $7 million project was funded by Measure TT, a bond initiative approved by voters in 2008 for construction and modernization of PUSD schools. Measure TT bond funds are targeted for capital improvements and are separate from district operating expenses. For more information on Measure TT, visit

The architect for the school modernization project was Flewelling and Moody. The general contractor was Shenk Developers.