Director of School Construction Remembered With Plaque

A bronze plaque bearing the resemblance of Britt Rees, who oversaw construction of Murrieta Mesa High School, was dedicated Friday. Rees died unexpectedly in May at age 51.

He pushed for more lights on the tower that graces Murrieta Mesa High School's administration office.

He got his wish, and more.

On Friday, the family of Britt Rees, who passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack in May, were joined by officials from the Murrieta Valley Unified School to dedicate the tower as the Britt Rees Tower.

As director of construction for the district, Rees was responsible for overseeing the construction of Murrieta Mesa High School—from start to finish.

The ceremony Friday was to mark the installation to the tower of a bronze plaque bearing the resemblance of the man who died too young—at age 51.

Longtime school board member Margi Wray, an artist, designed the mold for the plaque.

"I started working on it right away, right after he passed," Wray said.

The cost of the plaque and its installation were covered entirely by donations, according to district spokesperson Karen Parris.

"(Principal) Mary Walters and his colleagues in the district thought it was only fitting to dedicate the tower on campus to him," Parris said.

Superintendent Pat Kelley started off the dedication ceremony, then introduced former Superintendent Stan Scheer, who Rees had a special connection with, Kelley said.

"This beautiful memorial to him goes without saying he did an incredible job making this campus beautiful," said Scheer, who flew in from Colorado just to attend.

Scheer spoke of conversations he and Rees had while the high school was under construction.

"We kidded back and forth...he threatened me...he wanted more light in this tower...so he got even more light in this tower," Scheer said. "Britt, you got your tower buddy. Congratulations."

Family members who were gathered near Scheer—Scheer said he often talked about his family—included Rees' wife, Nancy, daughters, Lisa, Rebecca and Jessica, and son Gunnar. Rees' dog, Ralph, stood close by.

"I remember coming up on this hill with him and looking out at his kingdom," said Nancy. "He loved this place. His thumbprint is on everything—above ground and below ground."

Lisa said she knew her dad would be thanking everybody: "He would probably be laughing and saying, 'This is not necessary.'"

Though he may have not wanted the recognition, the principal of the school that opened in 2009 said the plaque was very fitting.

"We worked together on a daily basis on this project," said Walters. "He was here probably every day our first year...he loved to just come out. He loved it when he got to see the kids here, using the facility the way he envisioned it."


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