Construction begins on North Gresham Elementary
Local dignitaries and a gaggle of students broke ground for the new North Gresham Elementary School Wednesday which will replace the old building that has served students since 1961.
"(My) hope is that it creates memories and learning that will last a lifetime," Tracy Klinger, principal, said, addressing the students.
The new North Gresham Elementary will be built over the next 17 months while students are attending school in the existing building at 1001 S.E. 217th Ave. Then the old building will be demolished and a new playground and parking lots will be built. The 540 students will start in the new building in the fall of 2019. The construction fences will go up starting Thursday.
"It's a great day," Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis said at the ritual turn of the dirt on Wednesday, April 25.
The new North is part of a building program funded by $291.2 million in bonds voters approved in November 2016.
East Gresham Elementary School will also be replaced. About 70 percent of Gresham High School will be rebuilt and Barlow High School will be remodeled and a sports stadium will be added. Hall and Hollydale elementary schools and Deep-Creek-Damascus K-8 will get 16 new classrooms to ease overcrowding. All district schools are getting safety and security upgrades.
Bond money can only be used to build, remodel or improve school buildings. Bond funds also can be used for furniture and technology purchases. These funds cannot be used for salaries for teachers, administrators or staff or for supplies or books.
The final groundbreaking ceremony for the four schools will be at Barlow High School at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday, June 6. Barlow is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
More information about the Gresham-Barlow 2016 school bond building program can be found at: gresham-barlowbond.org.