Even the rain knew it could wait just a bit longer while some 500 students, school officials and community gathered for the groundbreaking at Hillside Elementary.
As Little Butte Elementary Principal Lynn Scott said, 8 ½ years ago many in the crowd stood in the darkness of the late August day watching most of the Eagle Point Junior High School burn to the ground.
Years between then and now have been spent in demolishing Glenn D. Hale School which was on the site of Hillside, negotiating with the insurance company, and developing and “undeveloping” proposals for Hillside.
Finally, on April 20, 2011 ground was broken and by March 2012 Little Butte students will become the Hillside Huskies.
The ceremony began as Superintendent Cynda Rickert introduced District 9 Board of Directors Vice-chairman Ted Dole. “It is an exciting day for the board, the administration and the community.” Dole said there was concern that it could be build with the money available from the insurance payoff and under the current economic conditions.
Appreciation of their “never say die” attitude went to Scott and Ken Gruenwald, maintenance supervisor, who spent many, many, many hours in meetings and visiting several schools before making their recommendations to the administration and school board. City Administrator Dave Hussell and city staff were thanked for their cooperative effort as plans were reviewed and approved.
Mike Taylor, general manager for Kirby Naglehout Construction, and the design architect Al Levage of BBT were introduced. They said they have built this plan six or seven times. Taylor heard a round of applause when he noted 70 percent of those who will be employed on the construction job will be local folks.
Hillside will be constructed to house 600 students and is schedule to open in March 2012.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent