The one-year countdown is upon us. Beginning at the start of the 2020-21 school year, students in Sherwood will be attending a brand new high school.
Conversations relating to a potential bond measure started in 2013-14.
"We were having conversations about our current enrollment," Sherwood School District Superintendent Heather Cordie said. "We realized that all of our schools were either at or over capacity, or getting really close to that. We knew we needed to start hosting a conversation with the community about a future bond — those conversations with the community included multiple community forums. It was our greatest hope, and our intent, to hear from the community."
A nearly $250 million bond passed in November 2016.
The project received help from other sources, including an state matching grant of over $4 million dollars, plus money from the Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program and the Energy Trust of Oregon.
"We've done our very best to leverage every dollar we can, as far as we can," said Jim Rose, chief operations officer for the Sherwood School District.
As envisioned, the current high school becomes a middle school and the two middle schools become elementary schools. The idea is to add capacity at every level.
Cordie said, "It's just a wonderful example of what can come up through a community engagement process. We are on time and on budget in our projects. We're really proud of that and happy to report that to our constituents."
The new school site will be on 73 acres between Haide and Kruger roads, north and south of it; the building will be approximately 350,000 square feet.
"We are building that high school to accommodate student enrollment of 2,000 in our classroom areas," Cordie said, noting common areas (such as the cafeteria and the gymnasium) will be built to accommodate 2,400 students. "Someday, down the road, years from now, when that school needs to be expanded, we already have designs for phase two — where the equivalent of classroom space for 400 more students can be readily and easily added on."
Amenities will be aplenty at the new high school, including double the number of parking spaces than the existing high school has. There will be 110 classrooms, 12 of which are for the sciences.
"All of those classrooms are as big or bigger than the current classrooms," Rose said.
There will be a state-of-the-art career and technical education wing, a new greenhouse and a performing arts center that will seat 600 audience members. The current auditorium seats 267.
Athletic fields will be turfed, with the exception of the junior varsity baseball and softball field. Extended learning areas will be located throughout classroom wings to allow for different education models.
Rose delivered even more fun facts about the building.
"Nineteen thousand nine hundred ninety-nine cubic yards of concrete will go into the building. That doesn't include the 7.3 miles of curbing," he said. "There's 400,000 bricks that will be on the façade. Currently, there are about 300 hardworking women and men on site building that building every day."
School security is of great importance to the Sherwood School District.
"One of several examples of safety and security is the entry vestibule in the front entrance," Cordie said. "We have really tended to safety and security in this high school, as we are in all of our buildings."
Speaking of the new school, Cordie added, "What our students and our staff in our community will feel and experience is a building that has been so thoughtfully designed and nestled into the incline of that property. We really believe that it is the gateway into what will be Sherwood West someday, as that part of town develops and continues to develop.
"It has been very important to us to be good neighbors and to really create a very warm, welcoming, friendly entrance into that side of our community, as it relates to the physical structure."
Cordie is proud of the accomplishments thus far.
"They (students) will be experiencing a state-of-the-art, comprehensive high school, second to none in our state, with attention given to the arts, athletics, career and technical education and everything in between," Cordie said. "It will provide an opportunity that's a continuation of what we're already doing for a strong education, with all sorts of different opportunities for students at Sherwood High School."
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