Two Paso Robles Press newspapers were in the capsule

PASO ROBLES — On Oct. 14, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), opened a time capsule that was sealed at the former El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility Administration Building in 1954.

Dr. Heather Bowlds and press. Photos by Gene Richards

The facility on Airport Road has been deactivated and vacant since 2008, and the property is about to be sold. The capsule was opened due to the upcoming sale.

About 25 people were present, including DJJ Director Heather Bowlds, Psy.D., and former El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility Superintendent David Bacigalupo.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

The first youths arrived at El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility on Sept. 30, 1947. The facility, run by the California Youth Authority at the time, was a former Army airfield comprised of 200 acres and 40 barrack buildings and was purchased by the state for $8,000.

The El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility served as a youth conservation camp in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).

Stanley and Carli Stevens. Photos by Gene Richards

The time capsule was removed from the brick exterior of the former boys’ school. It took about 20 minutes to cut the copper container from the building.

Two Paso Robles Press papers were found in the capsule along with an edition of the Telegram-Tribune. Historical photos were also in the capsule, including one from 1947 of the first boys arriving from a correctional facility in Whittier.

Additionally, dozens of business cards from State officials, including a signature from former California Governor Goodwin Knight, were in the capsule.

The sight of the former El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility is set to become the new site of a business park. The property is currently going through escrow.

Opening the time capsule brought the City of Paso Robles one step closer to saying goodbye to the El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility.