Mission Valley library signage disappears before it can be donated to SM East

Demolition of Mission Valley Middle School is set to begin before the end of the year after the passage of a new plan for the site Monday.

The idea just made sense to Kathi Knop.

The former Mission Valley and SM East librarian knew there had been some consternation over the fact that the district had decided to close the middle school just two years after completing a $1 million renovation of its library. But as demolition crews prepared to tear the school down to make way for the Tutera Group’s Mission Chateau senior living community, Knop thought it would be a nice gesture to see the signage reading “Library” on the exterior of the building transferred to SM East.

“This year’s seniors are the last class that attended Mission Valley,” Knop said. “I thought it would be nice to have some piece of Mission Valley at SM East with them.”

So Knop asked the Tutera Group if they would be open to removing the signage — large metal letters that spell “Library” — from the building before it came down. Knop was in talks with administrators and district officials to get approval to have the letters installed outside the SM East library when she noticed they had been removed from the Mission Valley exterior. Assuming the contractor had taken them down to hand over to her, Knop contacted Tutera to find out where she could pick them up. The response she got back was disheartening.

“I spoke with my contractor and he did not remove them,” the Tutera project manager told her. “It appears they have been stolen/removed without our permission.”

Tutera told Knop that they would be looking into the disappearance of the letters and hoped to be able to get them back.