Hundreds of El Monte Union students, staff, alumni and community members gathered at Mountain View High School on Jan. 23 to celebrate the grand opening of the Bobby Salcedo Student Union – named in honor of former student, beloved teacher and successful administrator Agustin Roberto “Bobby” Salcedo.
The festive celebration included a ribbon-cutting and name unveiling ceremony of the facility, which will house the school’s much-anticipated cafeteria, as well as a multipurpose room and Associated Student Body (ASB) meeting spaces.
Attended by the Salcedo family, local elected officials and feeder school district representatives, the after-school event featured entertainment by the Mountain View High School Viking Band, cheer and color guard, a walking tour of the 30,000-square-foot facility and a reception catered by Mountain View’s culinary arts students.
“Bobby was passionate about education and did everything he could to ensure that students had the opportunity to pursue their goals of attending college and earning a degree,” Board of Trustees President David Diaz said. “His legacy inspires us to continue advocating for our students, and we hope that this building stands as a reminder to all that we are united in our fight for high-quality education and post-secondary opportunities for all El Monte Union High School District students.”
Staff, alumni and students overwhelmingly supported naming the facility after Salcedo, a respected educator who had deep roots in the El Monte community and overcame a host of obstacles as he pursued his college and career goals.
Salcedo graduated in 1994 from Mountain View High School, where he was ASB president; taught at South El Monte High School; and served as an administrator at South El Monte, Mountain View and El Monte high schools. He was finishing his doctorate at UCLA and serving his second term on the El Monte City School District Board of Education at the time of his death in 2009.
The new facility replaces Mountain View’s former cafeteria, which was destroyed by fire in Jan. 2013.
“We are all united here without a cafeteria, but having one will help unite us even further and allow us to get to know each other, grow together and inspire greatness,” ASB student and senior Anely Figueroa said. “I feel like it will help us have more unity and friendships, bigger groups and clubs. The student union is not just a cafeteria; it will help us grow more as a family.
The facility will include a state-of-the-art cafeteria and kitchen, multipurpose room, staff lounge with restrooms, a student store and ASB meeting rooms, as well as an indoor courtyard and outdoor eating areas. The cafeteria and kitchen are expected to be fully functional and available for student use by the beginning of March.
“This has been a long time coming for our Mountain View High students and the El Monte Union community,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “We are proud to be able to provide our students a space in which to not only eat and meet with their peers, but also a safe learning environment that will inspire them to continue pursuing their college and career goals and achieve excellence as Bobby would have wanted.”
Phase 2 of the project, to be funded with Measure D bond dollars, will include a theater arts component with a performance arts stage and stadium-style seating, enhanced acoustics and sound and lighting.