LOOKINGGLASS, Ore. -- Lookingglass Elementary School’s new gymnasium is well into construction just a year and a half after the old one burned to the ground.
The new building will serve as the school’s gymnasium, cafeteria, library and music room -- the same functions as the original building.
That roughly 80-year-old building caught fire in December of 2016.
Fire Marshals told the Winston-Dillard School District it was likely an electrical issue.
The school district devised a plan, got approval from insurance and guidance from the Lookingglass community before setting out to rebuild.
Superintendent Kevin Miller said they ran into an issue at the beginning when no one wanted to bid to construct their new gymnasium.
“Kinda had a rough start. We put the building out for bid and initially received no bids from any contractors,” Miller said. “So that was tough. But we retooled, went back out, and fortunately, Todd Construction picked up the bid as a general contractor. Since then things have been moving along pretty well.”
With the project now three months into construction, resident Floyd Meredith said the community is looking forward to the future.
“As soon as they get maybe that modular out of here and get some of their playgrounds straightened up, it’ll be one of the most top-notch schools around,” Meredith said.
Miller said the district had the decision to close the school or rebuild the gymnasium.
The decision to rebuild in the original location was one the school district thinks will benefit the entire community.
“So the building will be used, obviously, for P.E., for music, food service, but also the community can fill out a facility-use request,” Miller said. “Many events, community events, can happen in this building.”
Miller said the building should be completed in December of this year, and they’ll hopefully have it open in January of 2019.