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Vose's year at temporary campus draws to a close

The Beaverton elementary school will go back to its original location, and a brand new building, this summer.

BLAIR STENVICK - Andrea Gomez, Jaime Huezo Orantes, Abigail Magana, Sergio Salas Reyes, Steven Escobar Uribe and Diego Garcia Alfaro use a middle school science lab as their third-grade classroom.Sandra Moreno's third-grade classroom at Vose Elementary has seven sinks, and cement floors that are only half-covered by a blue rug. That's because it's not really a third grade classroom — it's a middle school science lab in a building about five miles away from Vose Elementary's permanent location.

That's been the reality for the Vose community this school year. As their school on Denny Road is being completely rebuilt thanks to funding from a 2014 Beaverton School District bond measure, Vose teachers and students have a temporary home at 160 N.W. 118th Avenue, in a brand-new building that eventually will house a new middle school for the district.

"This is a big school, and it is not meant for elementary kids," Moreno said as she pointed out the sinks and cement floors. "It's been a bit hard, especially on the kids."

Moreno added that it has been nice having so much extra space — the temporary campus is built to serve up to 1,100 students, and sits on 16.3 acres. But the biggest challenge by far for students and their families has been the increased distance between home and school. Vose is a walking community, but this year 100 percent of the student body has been bused to and from school every day.

"We start late, and therefore we end late," Moreno said. "We put them on the bus around 4, so by the time they get home, it's hard for them to get their homework done. I know most kids and parents definitely try to get it done, but they still have chores and responsibilities."

The increased distance has also caused a decline in parent volunteers, as many parents would walk to the Denny Road campus during the school day. The district has alleviated this problem by securing buses for Vose parent volunteers, but participation still isn't as high as it was in previous years.

COURTESY BEAVERTON SCHOOL DISTRICT - Construction on Vose's new building, the largest elementary school building in the district, will wrap up this summer.But now the end is in sight: construction is well underway on the Vose rebuild, and teachers will be able to move into their new classrooms this summer.

Vose's new building will accommodate up to 750 students, and will be the largest elementary school building in the district. An increase in permanent classrooms means the school can get rid of portables — trailers doubling as classrooms — and plans also include a larger gym and cafeteria, and more parking.

"I'm excited that we can compare different stuff from this school to the other school," said Steven Escobar Uribe, a student in Moreno's class.

Going back to the old campus also means that Vose will be able to host after-school clubs again, something made difficult due to this year's changed schedule.

"What we're looking most forward to is just being back in our community where parents can access us," said Veronica Galvan, principal at Vose. "And being in a school that's made for elementary school kids — this one's huge. We have short little legs in a big building."

Over the next three school years, the temporary campus will host two other BSD elementary schools — Hazeldale and William Walker — and the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy. It then will open as a new middle school in 2020. Sixth- through eighth-grade students from Springville K-8 also are using the school to alleviate crowding on the main campus.

Before moving back to their home campus, Moreno and her colleagues are focused on facilitating the second annual 5K Vose Community Fun Run, happening May 13 at Greenway Elementary, which is closer to the Vose neighborhood than the temporary campus.

Moreno got the idea to start the Fun Run last year, when her students expressed admiration for her running participation medals, and the Vose Neighborhood Association Committee got involved as well. All proceeds from the Fun Run will go to a scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors who attended Vose.

Galvan said that the Fun Run is taking on a special importance this school year.

"It's just a way of connecting everyone," she said. "Having staff, parents, kids interact outside of a school building. It brings the whole community, not just our school but the neighborhood together."

Blair Stenvick
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