IUSD at 40: Culverdale Elementary starts out as one of Irvine’s ‘instant schools’


Tasked with accommodating a rapidly expanding student population, the Irvine Unified School District teamed up with the Irvine Company to build a handful of so-called “instant schools” in the early years, using portable classroom buildings.

Culverdale Elementary School was among the sites that started life as an instant school. It took about three months to construct the temporary campus, which opened in September 1973 — and apparently attracted a fleet of vintage bicycles. (Or, as they were called back then, bicycles.) The permanent campus at 2 Paseo Westpark was ready for students three years later.

Named a California Distinguished School in 2012, Culverdale serves approximately 700 students and hosts an annual International Culture Day each spring.

Do you have an old photo of the Irvine Unified School District you’d like to share? Send it to ianhanigan@iusd.org, along with some basic caption information, including names, dates and locations. We may publish it on the IUSD NewsFlash as part of our IUSD at 40 project, featuring images from the district’s first four decades.