School construction still scheduled for fall
HERMISTON — Hermiston School District still intends to start construction of its new schools this fall, despite the economic blow to the country dealt by COVID-19.
In a statement on Thursday, the district touted the jobs the projects will bring, paid for by the $82.7 million bond voters passed in November 2019 and a $6.7 million grant from the Oregon Department of Education. Superintendent Tricia Mooney said the statement was not intended to downplay the district’s concern over the public health crisis, and the district’s primary focus was still the well-being of its students, staff and community.
“However, the Hermiston community has a track record of working together for the common good,” she said. “This community will emerge from this crisis stronger, and the District is fully intending to leverage the valuable role of the bond projects to deliver on the commitment to the common good.”
The architectural firm BBT Architects is currently designing the project, which includes replacement of Rocky Heights Elementary School with a larger building, a new annex for Hermiston High School and a new elementary school on Theater Lane.
Construction is slated to start on the new Rocky Heights building this fall. Construction has been deemed “essential” work by Gov. Kate Brown during the COVID-19 closures.
The Bond Project Team, which includes the administration, BBT Architects and project manager Wenaha Group, plans to keep the public informed on the bond project schedule, which “will allow Hermiston contractors, subcontractors, tradespeople, suppliers, and hospitality businesses, visibility to the project schedule, and in turn business opportunities.”