Busy week includes Alder Creek Middle School on April 3 and Sunnyside Elementary on April 5

In a busy week for construction, North Clackamas School District officials broke ground on two major renovation projects, Alder Creek Middle School on April 3 and Sunnyside Elementary on April 5.

PHOTO COURTESY: JONATHAN HUTCHISON - Wielding the golden sledgehammers at the groundbreaking event for Alder Creek Middle School are (from left) Superintendent Matt Utterback, Principal Alyson Brant, students Emmie Reed and Anne Rust, and School Board Chair Rein Vaga.NCSD's construction at the two schools is being made possible by local voters' 2016 approval of a $433 million bond sale to help fund various projects throughout the district.

Meanwhile, portable classrooms were being moved last week onto the athletic fields at Milwaukie High School in preparation for its demolition and reconstruction. A ribbon-cutting was held April 4 for the reopening of NCSD's headquarters for maintaining its 31 school facilities that had been damaged by a fire in March 2017 at the NCSD Operations Building, 12449 S.E. Fuller Road, unincorporated Milwaukie.

Alder Creek students Emmie Reed and Anne Rust spoke at the first event to express how much the $21.5 million project means to them. When completed, the moderization of unincorporated Milwaukie's middle school will result in two renovated classroom wings, new auditorium seating, new single-occupant restrooms, and a covered play area.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Attendees of the April 5 groundbreaking event for renovation and expansion at Sunnyside Elementary School point to diagrams as they ask Superintendent Matt Utterback questions.Previously deferred maintenance also will be addressed, such as roofing and heating and cooling system repairs. New lighting, smoke sprinklers, classroom door locks and breakout group spaces also will be installed. The turf athletic field will be replaced, along with the track surface.

Since some of NCSD's transportation functions are moving out of Alder Creek, anticipated space in the parking lots will allow for a redesign of the pickup and dropoff areas, along with a resurfacing of the lots with trees and vegetation.

Right now $7 million of the bond funds are set aside for land acquistion for the transportation facility. Even when the new transportation facility is completed, some bus repair functions will remain at Alder Creek.

Sunnyside's renovation will cost approximately $12 million. Planned as part of this project are cafeteria and kitchen upgrades, seismic improvements, and new security cameras and fire sprinklers.

Major renovations at the Happy Valley elementary school will include a new secure front entry, office and classroom wing. A new hallway will be built to join the two classroom wings, creating a central courtyard. Parking lots and traffic flows will be redesigned to separate buses from pedestrian and parent dropoff areas.

School Board Chair Rein Vaga has been busy giving speeches at all the bond-project related events. He looked forward to seeing the bond projects "touch every building" in the large, diverse school district. He thanked local voters for their support of the bonds and asked for patience during the "disruptive nature of construction," but was looking forward to completion of all the projects in a "few short years."

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