1. < Back to Articles

    Project Team Travels Through Time

    July 11, 2018

    A time capsule found on a San Diego project site brings history to light

    What started off as an ordinary summer modernization project, quickly turned into the uncovering of a piece of San Diego history. As crews began breaking ground at the Herbert Hoover High School renovation project, a hidden treasure was unearthed, providing a glimpse into the past. A time capsule – assembled and hidden by the school’s class of 1978 – contained memorabilia, pictures, and letters from major United States and San Diego figures were found. 

    The time capsule was discovered inside the high school’s sign, which was constructed from an old cornerstone of the original campus building during renovations in the late 1970s. Fast forward 40 years later, when Balfour Beatty crews started to dig up the sign for relocation, they discovered a copper box within it. The school’s Principal, Jason Babineau, was called over by Superintendent Wayne Kibbe, alerting him of the peculiar find. No one knew what it was, and no one was expecting to find a time capsule. “It was pretty neat to see a treasure that we weren’t expecting. It wasn’t shown to be there. It was kind of like a finding hidden treasure on the project.” said Kibbe. 

    As they began to unearth the treasures from within the box they discovered school flags, stickers, and pins with the school’s signature red cardinal mascot along with historic pictures of the previous campus building during its reconstruction in the 1970s. A few treasures that stood out as having great significance included letters from the Mayor of San Diego, Pete Wilson; President of the United States, Gerald Ford; and Major League Baseball Legend, Ted Williams accompanied by a signed baseball. 

    The letters discuss the current class of 1978, their past success and well wishes for the future generations to come. The letter from Ted Williams, a Herbert Hoover High School alumnus, talks about the importance of taking education seriously and his regrets for not putting emphasis on it when he had the chance. His letter reads, “As I look back being out of high school 40 years, if I had to do it over, I would have worked harder as a student. No question about this. Education is so vital.”   

    The overall theme unveiled through these historic findings conveys a clear message to future generations - to keep the good of mankind in our hearts and move forward with the gumption to achieve a world of peace, jobs for all, and a healthier future. 

    “We must prepare our youth for the unforeseen future… We must give them courage, vision, and integrity. The future of our generation rests in the hands of the youth of our generation. The true test of the job we have done will be evident when this document is reread – whenever that year will be.” states a letter from former Principal Edward N. Yates.

    Balfour Beatty will continue giving new life to the campus with the construction of Herbert Hoover High School’s new theater and administration and classroom building, set to open in February of 2020. The mementos will be kept on display in the newly constructed building for future generations to cherish. “We definitely want to preserve it, find a plan to make sure to display this -- to tell story of Hoover High School. It’s something I want our current students to see – that there’s a legacy here at Hoover and that they have four years to build their own legacy," said Babineau.

    Learn more information about the school here.