A 50-year-old time capsule was set to be unearthed May 1 at Santa Lucia Elementary School in King City. (Contributed Photo)

KING CITY — A 50-year-old time capsule was set to be unearthed May 1 at Santa Lucia Elementary School in King City, and while the campus had invited the public to attend the capsule recovery and opening ceremony, shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus have caused that to be postponed.

In the meantime, school officials have asked for the community’s help in figuring out what they are in for with the capsule.

“We don’t really know what to expect when we open it,” said Principal Brinet Greenlee.

While time capsule contents are normally a surprise, Greenlee pointed out that getting information about the capsule itself has been difficult.

The container has been underground since 1970, directly underfoot at the front entrance of the school at the corner of Collins and North Russ streets, but information about the shape, depth or size has faded from memory.

Greenlee said she spoke to one person who was in kindergarten when it was put in place, but that person only remembered putting a purple Hot Wheels toy car into the capsule.

“According to him, it seemed like everybody in the entire school put something in there,” said Greenlee, adding that it might be a larger capsule than expected based on that observation.

Plans were for school maintenance staff to remove the plaque and concrete cover and dig up the capsule for the May 1 opening ceremony. Greenlee said the next step would be to create another capsule filled with items from students in 2020, for future generations to dig up one day.

The new capsule will be determined by the size of the current capsule, since it will use the same hole.

“The difficulty with the whole thing is not really knowing what you’ve got under there and what you’re digging up,” Greenlee said. “There might be someone in the community who remembers what it looked like.”

In addition to community assistance regarding information about the capsule, Greenlee said the school is seeking help in the creation of a new plaque to cover the 2020 capsule.

To offer helpful information, Greenlee can be contacted at 831-385-3246.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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