Bond money has been well spent in this school.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Brian Libby, architecture criticIt’s a sunny, early-fall day at Roosevelt High School in St. Johns, and despite the continuing mix of students and construction workers as renovation work continues, there seems to be a sense of optimism in the air.

As one of three local high schools being modernized as part of a $482 million bond passed in 2012, Roosevelt has a new wing open this fall (designed by Seattle firm Bassetti Architects) that includes a welcoming two-story entry commons, a new gymnasium for the Rough Riders basketball team, facilities for arts and high-tech learning, and a community center serving needy students with a health clinic, food pantry and counseling center. Inside the new Roosevelt classrooms I visited, there was also enough natural illumination (which, studies show raises students’ average test scores) that all of the electric lights were turned off.

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