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Pioneer building to reopen as Cedar Ridge Middle School this fall following Thanksgiving break

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: OREGON TRAIL SCHOOL DISTRICT - Renovation of the Pioneer building prompted the district to create a new drop-off area for students.School started on Tuesday, but Cedar Ridge middle schoolers will be waiting until November to move into their new home at the old Sandy High School.

After experiencing some setbacks with its Pioneer building renovations, the school will reopen its new location after Thanksgiving break.

The Oregon Trail School District is taking a very hands-on approach to keep the project on track for this new completion date.

"We're directly involved (with) boots on the ground," said District Superintendent Aaron Bayer. "There's a lot of little things, but with any renovation project that is expected. It's a Herculean effort."

Multiple complications have arisen to delay the opening of the middle school in the old high school. The district is in the process of analyzing the project thus far to determine what and who caused the delays in its renovation.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: OREGON TRAIL SCHOOL DISTRICT - The newly renovated high school will provide Cedar Ridge Middle School students with many amenities they don't have at their current location."To date, we haven't had sufficient information to make that determination," District Business Director Tim Belanger explained.

Over the past year, there have been three "significant" complications. There were some problems with PGE's engineering design for the electrical system. Workers found three previously undetected tanks underground, and the city issued some unanticipated plumbing-related permits.

Regardless of these interruptions, the district is staunch in holding to its new date, and it has made its general contractor, Skyward Construction, Inc., aware of its intentions. The district has been working very closely with the construction company to ensure that the Cedar Ridge student body will be in its new building before winter break.

"Any time we disagree on contract language it could come to a screeching halt, but it hasn't," Bayer said. "It's moving along quite nicely."

Belanger added that there are a lot of internal and less noticeable things happening on-site that the passerby won't see.

"You won't see: the whole building is sprinkled, or that we redid the data connections — that's in the walls," he explained. "We upgraded the alarm and camera systems (too). It's tons of work. There's lots of things going on … that's really important for a good structural environment."

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: OREGON TRAIL SCHOOL DISTRICT - District Superintendent Aaron Bayer said the project is now 'moving along quite nicely.'Bayer explained that another component he hoped people would see is the bigger picture of the Pioneer building project.

There has been a great deal of cooperation happening between the school district, the fire district and the city in the past year. The school district is housing the fire district's engines while the fire station is renovated and the city has put its new aquatic/community center project essentially on hold so the Cedar Ridge community can use the old middle school while its new building is in the works.

Bayer sees the opportunity created for people by the school's move as positive, saying that the end result is "going to be better for the community at large."

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