School renovations on track to finish next fall
Next school year will be an exciting time for students and district staff in the Newberg School District.
That is when long-awaited renovations at Newberg High School (NHS), Catalyst High School and Edwards Elementary School will be completed.
"All of (the renovations) are on schedule, though they are at different stages," Larry Hampton, district coordinator and safety/bond manager, said via email.
The renovations were funded by a $141 million construction bond voters passed in 2020 to improve the safety and learning environments of local public schools.
With the money, NHS is receiving a new two-story building, where Buildings H & J once stood, that will house science and Career and Technical Education classes. Additionally, science classes will be converted into extra CTE classes, including a culinary arts center.
At Catalyst, an addition to the far west end of the building will provide a home for Chehalem Online Academy, which previously "bounced around the district," according to former bond manager Gregg Koskela. Catalyst is also receiving a half-size gym/multipurpose room and a fabrication lab for some STEM activities. Extra space on the west side of the building might be used to expand the General Educational Degree program, but that remains to be determined.
Edwards will have two additions. The plans for the north addition consist of a new kitchen, cafeteria, music room and two preschool classrooms. Plans for the south addition includes a classroom wing with extra classrooms and new offices for counselors. Additionally, next summer Edward's main building will get security updates, a makerspace and, if the budget permits, some smaller renovations such as new lighting and paint. Edwards will also receive basic maintenance and safety repairs.
As of now, both NHS and Catalyst are on schedule; Edwards is slightly behind due to the site requiring a lot of utility work, such as rerouting city water and sewer lines that interfere with new additions.
"There are a lot of under slab electrical, plumbing, and radon lines as well — especially for the Edwards kitchen," Hampton said.
Despite the slight setback, renovations at Edwards should still be finished by fall 2023.
"Footing and stem walls are all poured, utility work for under the slabs is nearing completion, and the slabs should be poured in the next couple weeks," Hampton said. "Framing will follow after that."
Like Edwards, the utility work at NHS is ongoing, but "the slab is poured and the steel frame is well under way," he said.
Utility work at Catalyst is completed and the slab has been poured. Framing will begin shortly.
Residents can follow along with the renovations at NHS and Edwards via separate livestreams. To view the NHS and Edwards livestream, visit bit.ly/3T2EEAw and bit.ly/3U5yQHP, respectively.
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