EUGENE, Ore. – After the 4J bond measure passed in Tuesday, district administrators and teachers are looking forward to the next step, spending all the money raised.
Administrators aren’t wasting any time with plans for the future; even though construction won’t begin for a while, they say they can’t wait to break ground.
It would take a lot of hands to count up to $170 million; that’s how much the 4J district has at its disposal to replace or renovate several older schools, including Howard Elementary.
“I’m just very excited, health wise, to have clean air and fresh air. I’m also really excited for my kids to have a classroom that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer and also the option of more technology,” said Carla Zimmerman, Howard Elementary First Grade Teacher.
Principal Allan Chinn says the new building is long overdue.
“You can just look up and down these hallways and see all the wires that are strung everywhere. You know the heating system is insufficient; some classrooms are freezing some classrooms are sweltering. You know it’s not built for today’s technology. You know we’re really trying to, we are delivering a 21st century education but in a 20th century building,” said Principal Allan Chinn, Howard Elementary.
Three other schools, including River Road Elementary, are celebrating the bond measure’s success with the administrators’ excitement is trickling down to students.
“We couldn’t even get them to be quiet; they are so excited that they’re going to have a new school with everything that will provide for them. Of course they think it’s going to happen tomorrow. We told them it’s going to take a little bit of time for it to happen,” said Principal Susan Nakaba, River Road
Nakaba says the new school will be more open and community-focused compared to what River Road has now.
“The design of this school, I call it the bowling alley school; we have lanes of classrooms to go down. So it’s cut off from each other it’s difficult for us to have common spaces and work together that way,” said Nakaba.
The school district plans to have an architect hired by August 20 and it hopes to have many of the schools completed within two years.