Sesquicentennial: Citrus South Tule School celebrating 150 years

This fall, Citrus South Tule School will celebrate its 150th anniversary, marking a significant milestone in the history of education in the Porterville and Springville communities.

Founded in 1874 as one-room schoolhouse, Citrus South Tule has grown and transformed into a beacon of innovative education, now serving as home to the Future Ready Lab/Qualcomm Thinkabit La and the Garner Holt AniMakerspace Lab.

For nearly 140 years, Citrus South Tule School served as a school for the area. But in 2015 due to declining enrollment, the school was absorbed into the Porterville Unified School District. After a brief closure, the school was reopened through a collaborative effort between PUSD, the district's Pathways Program, and Qualcomm.

In September 2017, following extensive renovations to the school's main building, the Future Ready Lab / Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab opened its doors, offering students cutting-edge learning opportunities. This was followed by the opening of the Garner Holt AniMakerspace Lab in September 2021, despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to be continuing the history and legacy of this unique campus,” said PUSD Pathways director Cynthia Brown. “Since reopening the campus, we have worked hard to preserve the history of the original schoolhouse, which is still on site, and show students cutting edge technology and career exploration opportunities.”

Today, Citrus South Tule is a hub of educational innovation, attracting more than 2,500 visitors annually who come to explore its unique programs and scenic campus. As the fall approaches, preparations are underway to commemorate the school's 150th anniversary with a special celebration event.

“We serve students from all over the greater Porterville area. We invite schools in our community to visit the Future Ready Lab and Animakerspace Lab to explore careers and learn new skills,” said Erik Santos, Pathways Learning Director and Future Ready Lab instructor.

“From class visits all throughout the school year to various summer camps, Citrus South Tule campus is alive and well! We are looking forward to the next 150 years and more!”

PUSD is seeking former students, staff members and parents of Citrus South Tule School. The memories and experiences of those from Citrus South Tule are a vital part of our school's rich history. Those who have a history with Citrus South Tule are asked to fill out a short survey by visiting

In addition to honor the momentous occasion, the Legacy Wall project is being launched. The initiative allows those interested to leave a lasting mark on the history of Citrus South Tule School by purchasing an engraved brick. For more information on how to participate in the project, visit

“We are excited to provide the community with this opportunity to leave their own legacy on our campus for generations to come! The Legacy Wall will be a beautiful addition to the campus, adjacent to the schoolhouse still on site,” said Gordy Plaisted, Animakerspace Lab instructor and PUSD Pathways STEAM Coach.

More information on the fall event will be provided in the near future. Source: Porterville Recorder