Paakuma’ K-8 School Groundbreaking

Dave Bell, Ken Podany, and Charlene Yarnall with San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.


The San Bernardino City Unified School District broke ground on its 15th and final new campus May 16th, capping an aggressive construction campaign that started in 2004.

Paakuma’ K–8 School, designed by PJHM Architects, is named for San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ revered leader Santos Manuel and is located at 17875 Sycamore Creek Loop Parkway, near Devore. The groundbreaking ceremony featured a blessing and bird songs by San Manuel Tribal Member and Santos Manuel’s great-great-grandson Paakuma’ Tawinat and Kim Marcus, member of the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians.

How Paakuma’ K-8 School got its name.

Paakuma’ is the Serrano Indian name of Santos Manuel, leader of Yuhaviatam Clan of Serrano Indians and namesake of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, who is remembered as a community builder and as a person who, following years of turmoil, established a forward-looking relationship with the people of the San Bernardino Valley. He was known for his generosity, caring not only for his fellow tribal members, but also travelers who stayed on the reservation for ceremonies, celebrations or to work on the fruit groves in the San Bernardino valley.

When it opens in the 2015–16 school year, the school will serve as many as 1,088 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Thirty-nine classrooms will span 18 acres adjacent to the Rosena Ranch housing development off Interstate 15. The school’s $25 million price tag is being paid through a 50/50 match between the District and the state.
Since the District’s facilities capital improvement program began in 2004, 15 new campuses have been built or are in the midst of construction, said Assistant Superintendent John Peukert, who oversees the District’s Facilities/Operations Division.
The construction campaign cost in excess of $1 billion and will add 15,000 new classroom seats.
“This has been a remarkable school construction campaign not only for San Bernardino but for all of California,” Peukert said. “Our guiding principle through the years has always been to create the best learning environment for the students of the San Bernardino City Unified School District.”

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