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The Gresham-Barlow district breaks ground for more classrooms and improved buildings

COURTESY PHOTO: GRESHAM-BARLOW SCHOOL DISTRICT - Hollydale Elementary School students and helpers turn some dirt to symbolize the beginning of contruction on the schools six new classrooms. Hollydale and Hall elementary schools in Gresham celebrated ground breakings this week for expansions and improvements at the schools.

The rainy afternoon didn't dampen spirits Monday, April 8, at Hollydale when school officials and students turned dirt with shovels to mark the project's launch.

Hollydale principal Debra James, told the crowd, "Nelson Mandela said, 'There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.' The dollars that are being used to support this project are a direct result of the caring that the adults of Gresham show for our students."

Hollydale will get six new classrooms to accommodate growth and upgrades to the heating and cooling systems, roof, flooring, and other needed repairs. In July, the 428 Hollydale Heros got a new playground as part of the improvements.

Local dignitaries gathered at Hollydale, 505 S.W. Birdsdale Dr., Monday, April 8, for the ceremonial shoveling.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Superintendent of the Gresham-Barlow School District and some of the fourth-grade Hall Hedgehogs that attended the schools groundbreaking. On Wednesday, April 10, Hall elementary celebrated the beginning of its construction.

Speaking to the students gathered for the ceremony, Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis said, "I know what a difference this building will make in your lives."

Hall will also get six new classrooms, which will eliminate the use of portable classrooms. The 420 Hall Hedgehogs will also get a new playground.

Renovations to driveways and parking lots will separate bus and parent pick up and drop off areas to make everything safer and flow more smoothly. Hall, 2505 N.E. 23rd St., also will get upgrades to heating and cooling systems, roof, flooring and other needed building repairs.

Fourth-grade Hall student Evah Dusenberry told the crowd that she was excited about the project because "I get to watch all the construction outside my classroom."

Like the other schools in the Gresham-Barlow School District, both Hall and Hollydale will also get safety and security improvements, technology upgrades and wireless infrastructure in classrooms.

The construction is scheduled to be completed about May of 2020 at both schools.

The building is being paid for by a $291.2 million bond Gresham-Barlow district voters approved in November 2016. East Gresham and North Gresham elementary schools are being replaced as part of the bond. Gresham High and Barlow High schools are getting major renovations and expansions.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - The Hall students get their gear on to head to the construction site.

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