Kicking off construction


James Canfield

School board members ‘break the ground’ with golden shovels.

By James Favot, Editor-in-Chief

The band’s cheerful fanfare of instruments marked the beginning of Tigard High’s groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. Students and community members alike showed up to the event to celebrate the kickoff of the school’s renovation.

Superintendent Ernie Brown and Principal Andy Van Fleet both gave a brief speech expressing their excitement for construction to begin. “It feels amazing,” Brown said in an interview for the Paw. “I am really excited to finally see it start to happen.” Sophomore Delaney Leavitt and freshman Drew Carter were invited to the event as a symbolic gesture, since they will see the school in its finished form when the remodel is completed in 2020.

Following the speech, various school board members put on their hard hats and safety vests and were each given a special golden shovel to dig into the soil at the school’s entrance, representing the ‘first steps’ of construction. The crowd applauded while the dirt was overturned.

Senior designer Joe Echeverri of Bassetti Architects was at the ceremony. “It’s very rewarding, especially having gone through such a lengthy design process and a lot of complex discussions,” Echeverri said. “The toughest part was making sure that we were looking to address all of the various needs and wants[…] while meeting the budget.”

Tigard High’s new changes are part of an ongoing plan to modernize the entire school. “This project is going to take a significant step forward in helping us realize that vision,” Brown said. “It’s something the community is going to be very proud of for a long, long time.” The last time Tigard High had a significant remodel was in 2005 with the construction of the rotunda.

Needless to say, the school will be buzzing with action now that construction has officially commenced. “We’re not going to do anything else substantial until the last day of school,” Van Fleet said in an interview for the Paw. He added that demolition will start in the summer and for the next two years, students can expect to see work being done every day.

Engineering teacher Kristie Moore was one of the teachers who dug at the ceremony. “I can’t believe that in a week, part of this building is going to be demolished,” Moore said. Her classroom won’t be affected by this year’s demolition, which will only be impacting the commons area.

A few details are still currently being addressed, such as how to relocate the tech classrooms with lots of equipment and where everyone is going to eat when the commons is gone. But one thing’s for sure—it’s going to be quite a unique school year.