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Construction of new high school right on schedule

This week marks one year since the project began
by: Lisa K. Anderson Site superintendent Kelly Rowland said Monday the new Sandy High School was on schedule for its September 2012 opening.

Superintendent Aaron Bayer visits the new Sandy High School at least every Tuesday, describing as 'remarkable' the week-to-week progress he has seen.

'It's absolutely amazing,' he said on a Monday tour with Hoffman Construction site superintendent Kelly Rowland. Walking the same circle around the grounds, something new catches his eye each time.

Crews began construction on the high school project July 22, 2010, and a year later, everything is on track for the May 2012 opening. Doors will officially open for students in September 2012.

Rowland said about 170 workers were on-site this week on the 'core and shell' phase of construction, or 'developing the bones of the building' and closing in the building space. The crew will reach 200 at the project's peak this September.

When it opens for the 2012-13 school year, Sandy's new high school will double its space to 310,000 square feet and increase its student capacity to 1,600, with support space for an additional 200.

Designed to be more energy and cost efficient, the space features natural lighting above the gymnasium through what are called clerestories, a displacement air system, green roofs and an underground cistern that recycles rain and shower water.

According to Julia Monteith, Oregon Trail School District communications director, the new school grounds will be a prime location to offer outdoor learning experiences with its ponds, trails and wildlife.

The new property is located on Bell Street and will span 82 acres of forested property. Funding for the building came from a voter-approved $114.9 million bond in November 2008.

While tours are not available to the public at this time, Oregon Trail School District offers a webcam view of construction and plans to post updates and short videos during the next phases of construction.

A few facts and highlights

• There are 10 classrooms per floor per wing, totaling 60.

• Additional learning spaces offered are the Career and Technical Education department -- including a new construction management program -- fine arts, performing arts and athletic facilities.

• The theater will hold 500 people and features an orchestra pit.

• The library will triple its size.

• Fully wireless, students can use handheld learning devices in the school and parents visiting can access Internet with guest passes.

• The athletic facility will offer seating for 1,800 in the main gymnasium, a weight room and an indoor track.

• The science labs will be fully equipped to offer more lab experiences for students.

• A two-level cafeteria and commons space will include an outdoor patio.

For more information about construction, visit the school district's website at oregontrailschools.com.