Clovis, “A Way of Life” says it all. With community events and major developments, it’s a community full of spirit all its own.
It is no surprise why Clovis has been called “The Fun Capital of the Valley”. Clovis’ festivals, parades and rodeo attract and delight visitors far and near each year. Our city is full of a redeveloped Old Town, historical sites, delightful shops, shopping mall and business centers. There is something for everyone.
The Clovis Civic Center was built in 1979 to accommodate the growth of the community, it houses the City Hall, the Library, the Municipal Courthouse. In 2003 the new Police and Fire Headquarters was built.
The gardens of the Civic Center flow to the east and west and encompass the Senior Center, the San Joaquin College of Law, (housed in the original 1920 Clovis High School Building), the Clovis Veteran’s Memorial Square (designed to display the Clovis High School Class Stones from 1902 to 1969), and the Rex Phebus Veterans’ Memorial Building.
In downtown the Clovis Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Clovis. Clovis – Big Dry Creek Historical Society houses displays that show the heritage of families that began with the Indians in the area, to early wheat farmers, to those who walked and rode wagons to settle in the area to start businesses that became the foundation of the town. The museum originally was built as the First State Bank of Clovis in 1912. It was designated as a Fresno County Historical Site in 1987. There are Clovis Veterans displays of WWI, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. The museum is also the custodian to the Clovis High School senior class pictures from 1902 until 1969. (Most text from Clovis Chamber of Commerce web page)
The former Clovis High School Building, built in 1920 by William Weeks, has historical significance for the Clovis Community. This unique building had churrigueresque arches which were patterned after the detailed baroque architecture of Spain in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. These arches were taken down by State mandate after the 1952 Bakersfield earthquake, for safety reasons. In 1995 a contingent from San Joaquin College of Law met with city leaders to try to negotiate a deal to bring the 30 year old law school to Clovis from its Fresno site. The results of those meetings are now history and the San Joaquin College of Law now calls Clovis its home.
There is ongoing interest in bringing back the historical significance of the building by restoring the terra cotta entrance facades that were removed. In 1998, Lanco General Contractor, Inc., while working on the historic Tarpey Depot in Old Town, which houses the Clovis Visitors and Information Center project, got some bids from their contacts. At that time the cost was about $350,000. While the interest remains high - the funds have not become available. Lanco’s recommendation at the time was that SJCL not settle for anything less than either terra cotta or a suitable alternative such as Polymer-Modified Glassfiber Reinforced Gypsum (PGRG).
As a community service San Joaquin College of Law hosts tours of the building for any of the Clovis High School class reunions that are held annually.