This summer, the Mount Angel community has seen its bond money at work on the campuses of two schools, so the start of a new school year will bring a wealth oPhoto Credit: LINDSAY KEEFER - Lockers stand in an open air hallway of Mount Angel Middle School, awaiting placement in the future seventh- and eighth-grade commons area, which won't be ready for the start of school Sept. 2.f changes for students.

Changes will be particularly noticeable at Mount Angel Middle School, which received the majority of work over the summer — and will see it continue until about December.

“It’s going to be ready to get back in,” Superintendent Troy Stoops said. “But they’ll just be working around kids with little disruption.”

Not only has the project included asbestos abatement, new carpeting and tile and a new parking lot design, but pods switched around so the main office is now in a more visible location.Photo Credit: LINDSAY KEEFER - A construction worker smooths the newly laid gym floor at Mount Angel Middle School. The gym will now meet regulations, and students will no longer have to play sports on a concrete floor.

“You could have wandered for a long time before you actually got there,” Stoops said about the former main office location. “Now there will be a controlled access.”

The main office is still incomplete, however, and orange tape will mark where students and visitors can go to enter the school. The temporary office is the only modular needed on site, Stoops said.

The pod previously occupied by the main office is still under construction, but is being converted into a student commons area with a couple classroom spaces and lockers for seventh- and eighth-graders.

Additionally, the concrete gym floor was topped by a finished wood floor, making it regulation sized.

“So that’ll be a great resource for the community,” Stoops said. “The floor will be ready for the first day of school, but no bleachers and the locker rooms will not be accessible yet.”

With the parking lot being leveled, Stoops said the district hopes to combine that with buried rubble collected from when the elementary school was built, level it off and build a soccer field on the north side of the school.

“The intent would be to go right up to the fence where the solar panels are,” Stoops said. “We’ve had a lot of pressure from soccer groups to play here but we don’t have soccer facilities.”

All changes at Kennedy High School, have been made to the track and field behind the building, with a newly paved track, new natural turf for the football field and an expanded area for the visitor bleachers. Additionally, a new, lPhoto Credit: LINDSAY KEEFER - Construction on Kennedy High School's track and field will be finished in time for the first home football game Sept. 12, during Oktoberfest. The next day, it will be used as the finish line for the Oregon Mara-thon.arger scoreboard will accommodate scores for track and field events. In addition to money used from the bond that was approved in November 2013, Oktoberfest donated labor and money toward a press box that was lifted and placed on the top of the stadium just last week.

“(The old one) was old and not safe anymore,” Stoops said.

The Gallon House pub in Silverton also donated a new stadium sound system after holding a golf tournament fundraiser.

The track had been surrounded on the east and west by trees that had to be removed. What is left of the 54 trees to the west are being used for a firewood fundraiser for the football team.

“The roots were going under the track so we had to get them out because they were going to potentially damage the track,” Stoops said.

The trees to the east are being used to make benches in Ebner Park across town.

The new football field will be ready for Kennedy’s first home football game on Sept. 12, which is during Oktoberfest.

“They probably won’t be able to get on the field until 3 p.m.,” Stoops said. “Then, the next morning, it will serve as the finish line for the Oregon Marathon.”

Stoops said the track is used by Mount Angel residents daily.

“So we’re really excited,” he said. “This is a huge improvement for the whole community.”

Work on the high school building itself will actually start by this November, leveling off the cafeteria and expanding the building into what is currently the handicapped spaces of the parking lot.

The district is continuing full-day kindergarten, which was piloted last year, and is bringing back new programs and additional staff, including fulltime band at both the middle and high school. The district also brought back a business and technology position that had been eliminated due to budget constraints in recent years.

Lindsay Keefer covers Hubbard, Mount Angel and St. Paul. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-765-1193.

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