The Southridge High School community is gearing up to commemorate the construction phase of a new Community Plaza on campus.

The gathering place is being built in memorial to Army Pfc. Andrew Keller, a 2008 graduate who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan.

A celebration assembly will be held Thursday morning at 10 in the school’s gymnasium to share updates on the project with the student body. Construction began last week with plans to unveil the completed plaza in September.Pfc. Andrew Keller

After years of lamenting the lack of outdoor restroom facilities, a proper concession stand, an outdoor gathering place and welcoming entry to the Skyhawks stadium, a community effort to create a plaza incorporating all of those pieces and more gained momentum and support.

Since the school opened its doors to students in the fall of 1999, the south side of campus has felt incomplete to students, parents, faculty and community members who use the facilities.

A committee of dedicated volunteers last fall unveiled the Southridge Community Plaza Project, a privately funded improvement project “Reflecting the pride of our community that will honor Andrew Keller as well as others who have fought and given their lives for our freedoms.”

The proposed plaza will offer restrooms, concessions, proper lighting, an inviting community space with seating and permanent ticket booths for events. Schematic designs provided by Woofter Architecture reveal what the ambitious plaza will include.

Concessions and restroom facilities will be located on the east end of the stadium, allowing use by both home and visiting fans along with improved spectator access to all field sports and track events.

The muddy, bark-chipped area between the football field and school building will be transformed into a plaza that will allow students and classes to go outside and enjoy an inspiring space.

The new plaza will have a wall of honor, a wall of generosity and a wall of hope, to recognize members of the Southridge and greater South Beaverton communities.

The project also calls for the creation of a circle. At its center will be a bronzed helmet with the No. 13 modeled from the helmet Keller wore while playing for the Skyhawks. The area will also have a wall sharing Keller’s story.

For more information, visit srhscommunityplaza.word

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