Three new school buildings are ready for students next week, minus a few details.

School starts next week for the Beaverton School District, but at Monday night's board meeting, Superintendent Don Grotting took a moment to recognize an ending amidst the excitement of a new beginning.

Richard Steinbrugge, the executive director of the facilities department, is retiring, and Monday was his last board meeting as a district employee. Steinbrugge oversaw construction of four new school buildings in the district as part of the 2014 bond measure, including the new Vose Elementary building, Mounstainside High and Sato Elementary, all of which will open their doors to students for the first time next week.

"I want to thank you for your service to our kids, our staff and our community," Grotting told Steinbrugge.

Steinbrugge was at the meeting to present a bond construction update to the board, which focused on the three new school buildings. The facilities department reported that all three buildings are on track to open next week, though a few finishing touches will be needed.

At Mountainside High, everything is ready except for the auditorium, which is slated for completion in about a month. The two-year construction of Mountainside was marked by harsh winters and a strong demand for more construction workers.

"A year or so ago, there were some who thought we'd never get where we are today," Steinbrugge said about progress at Mountainside.

Aaron Boyle, a project manager for the district, said that Sato Elementary had just passed its county inspection this week. Sato now has a working sewer system, so the district will not have to use the septic tank system it had installed in case the sewer was not ready by the first day of school.

"(Clean Water Services) worked really hard to get that accomplished for us," Boyle said about the agency that handles water resource management for much of Washington County.

At Vose, Boyle said, the classrooms are completely ready but the covered play structure and athletic field are not. The road at the school's entrance may be still undergoing construction next week, so the district plans to use extra crossing guards and take other safety precautions during student drop-off and pick-up.

In addition to completing three buildings this summer, the district also improved security systems at nine of its schools. The final wiring and testing may still be going on next week, said project manager Sheri Stanley, but "all the invasive construction will be done by the time school starts."

Blair Stenvick
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