SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — The community had the chance to tour Hamlin Middle School Tuesday to learn how an upcoming bond measure could help replace the aging school.
Springfield Public School administrators say there are a number of trouble spots at the school that aren’t an easy fix. The proposed $62.5 million bond measure wouldn’t just fix, but instead replace Hamlin Middle School entirely. Making it easier for educators to focus on students’ learning rather than on what can’t be done due to an old school.
“Our electrical system is original to the building, 1957 construction. We can no longer get parts for repair and the Springfield Utility Board has actually diagnosed it with fatigue, meaning that it’s slowly wearing out,” said Devon Ashbridge, Springfield Public Schools Communication Specialist.
District leaders say the electrical system is just one of a number of structural issues. They say it also faces problems with its drinking water, sewage and pipes system.
“They are carried through galvanized piping under the concrete slab that the school sits on and what we discovered after 1957 is that that galvanized piping, which was so common then, actually starts to break down when it reacts with chemicals in the soil,” Ashbridge said.
Old bathrooms with not enough facilities for the amount of students, cramped classrooms with a lack of updated technology and a poorly-designed roofing system.
“You’ll notice that it’s an inverted system, a lot like a series of m’s all in a row, and unfortunately in Oregon what that does is it traps water almost acts as a trough,” Ashbridge said.
The district says the bond measure would fund the replacement of Hamlin Middle School, at a location directly behind the current building. An upgrade Principal Kevin Wright says would give students what they need to succeed.
“I feel like a brand new setting is an opportunity for us to send a message to kids and show them by way of example the high standard we have set for them,” Wright said.
To learn more about the bond measure on the November ballot, a community meeting is at Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the Hamlin Middle School cafeteria.