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New construction of Our Lady of the Lake school 'seems too good to be true'
by: VERN UYETAKE Kim Calkins, OLL’s director of development, stands next to the future art room, which will have great natural light from all the windows.

The giant construction program going on at Our Lady of the Lake School in Lake Oswego has a dreamlike quality about it.

It seems too good to be true. Especially when you have been around the school as long as Principal Joan Codd.

'This is my 20th year here, and we've talked about doing this for a long time,' said Codd. 'We could never quite pull it off. Now that it's happening, it's so exciting and thrilling.

'It will be so terrific when we all get together in a state-of-the-art facility.'

The thrills have only begun. The school won't be finished until June of this year, and it won't be ready for the students until the beginning of the next school year in September. But the walls are now under construction and the structure is expected to be enclosed by the end of January.

It gives Kim Calkins a lot to talk about when she puts on a hard hat and gives tours of the site.

'We are right on schedule and we're on budget. We're even under budget,' said Calkins, who is OLL's director of development. 'The design will be so much more efficient for the way school is taught today. There will be so much more room for hands-on teaching in the classrooms.'

The old school building, constructed in 1938, is well loved by alumni and parents. But a tour of the campus will give any patron of OLL an overwhelming sense of anticipation.

The goodies just keep on coming:

n A soccer field with artificial turf. 'No more mucky fields.'

n An art room. This means the art teacher will no longer have to roll a cart all over the building.

n New gym that seats 188 fans. This means the school can now host home games.

n An all-purpose room with catering facilities and kitchen, which will seat 150.

n A two-story atrium at the main entrance.

n A new library with hugely expanded book capacity.

n A music room that is three times the size of the current room, with superb acoustics and practice rooms.

n A science lab with updated equipment and plenty of storage space.

n A computer lab completely enclosed by glass. Calkins said it would be known as 'The Fish Bowl.'

n Expanded room for the school's learning disabilities program.

n An art studies room that will give art classes their own home for the first time. 'Art is an important part of our curriculum,' Calkins said. 'Now we'll have a place to showcase it.'

All of these things, and more, are good in themselves, but they become even more exciting when you consider how vastly they can improve the students' educational experience. Everything about the school will be much more functional.

'We can really start to visualize how the classrooms will look,' Calkins aid.

'The new school will make a huge difference in how we educate our students, although I think we're doing a darn good job right now,' Codd said.

However, it won't be just Our Lady of the Lake students who will benefit from the big makeover.

The Lake Oswego community will be invited to take advantage of the new building for many activities, meetings, exhibitions, auctions, stage productions, music performances and banquets.

The new school will be a true showpiece for this city. Codd noted that the school hosted a pep rally for the Lake Oswego High School football team before it won the state championship. They got an excellent vision of what is happening at Our Lady of the Lake.

'Bruce Plato (LOHS principal) brought the football team, and nine players are alumni of Our Lady of the Lake,' Codd said. 'They were so excited to be back. It was very fun for them to see what is happening here.'