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Published: 8/15/2007

New Coy Elementary all ready for students

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Though school resumes next week for all Oregon students, those attending Coy Elementary School won't go back to the same building they left when summer vacation began.

A brand-new Coy Elementary opens its doors for the 2007-08 school year.

The new school was built for 600 students on 22 1/2 acres at 3604 Pickle Rd. near Schmidlin Road, down the street from the 81-year-old building that most of the students formerly attended.

"By the start of school, that [new Coy] school will be fully functional and operational," said John Gilliland, the district's assistant superintendent of business affairs and operations. "We are moved in."

Coy was the only school replaced via the Oregon City School District's $45 million school building project.

"The kids are already excited about it," Oregon Superintendent John Hall said.

To go from just the concept to the plans on paper to see the fruition of this ... is just awesome."

For more than two years, district officials have been working on the plan to add on to or renovate their aging school buildings - all of which are at least 40 years old.

Each school is set to be modified for student safety, so visitors have to check in before they will be permitted to enter the buildings.

The schools also were designed to have classrooms of the same grade level clustered in a similar location.

The work is being paid for over 28 years through a $45 million bond issue that district voters approved in November, 2004.

To celebrate the end of construction at Jerusalem, Wynn, and Coy elementary schools, and the completion of the addition to Clay High School, officials have set up three dedications and four open houses within the next two months.

During the open houses, tours of the buildings will be provided.

The first dedication will be at Jerusalem at 5 p.m. on Monday, followed by an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Clay will unveil its new addition from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 28. But because the school represents the district s biggest project, its dedication won t happen until the school is finished next fall.

Wynn will be dedicated at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, and the open house will follow from 6:30 to8 p.m. An open house for Coy is scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4, but the dedication ceremony won t be held until 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 in the school s multipurpose room.

Jerusalem and Wynn were modified for 450 students. Jerusalem has a large addition to the southern portion of the school, com plete with a new entryway.

An addition to Wynn houses a gym, kitchen, and dining area; three kindergarten class rooms, and an administrative area.

Construction at Clay is scheduled to be finished at the beginning of the 2008-09 school year.

The new, upside-down, V-shaped addition connected to the front of the school for class rooms, science and computer labs, and a media center is ready for students.

The two old school buildings on either side of the main high school are still standing, but will be demolished early next year for additional parking lots once interior renovation to other portions of the school building is complete, Mr. Gilliland said. Also, a new bus loop has been paved, which sets a new traffic-flow pattern, and a new wrestling room was built.

By next school year, officials hope to have built another addition on the back of the high school for career-prep courses.

The district s administration office has a new addition on its north end. It will allow the administrators to work together under the same roof once they all move back into the building early in this school year, Mr. Gilliland said.

He said the district s two middle schools Eisenhower and Fassett are scheduled for minor renovations but work has not begun on either yet.

Work at Starr Elementary School was finished last fall. The school sports new kindergarten classrooms, a special-education classroom, and a computer-lab addition.

I know our community is going to be very, very proud and pleased with the end result and what our tax dollars supported, Mr. Hall said.



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