Fowler Middle School gets a revamp, while neighboring Beaverton debuts three new schools.

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Fowler Middle Schooler Nabaa Al Rikabi figures out her new locker during orientation on the first day of school.For the Tigard-Tualatin School District, Tuesday was a day of transitions. Projects associated with the district's $291 million bond measure of 2016 are just starting to pick up, and students at Fowler Middle School will have the chance to watch their school transform before their eyes this school year.

It's different north of here, where the Beaverton School District opened three new schools, including a high school on the boarder it shares with Tigard-Tualatin, and an elementary school off Hall Boulevard, thanks to that district's $680 million bond measure from 2014.

At Fowler Middle School, sixth-grade students attended an orientation day on Tuesday, and seventh and eighth graders joined them on Wednesday.

The school is currently undergoing construction, which includes a STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — classroom remodel, a science classroom renovation, office relocation and seismic upgrades.

Students are attending the school as it is being revamped, and the district has a completion date set for November. Construction will begin at Tigard High at the end of this school year, and at Tualatin High the following year.

At Deer Creek Elementary, students dropped off their supplies last week, met their teachers and found out where they'll be sitting over the next year. In Brenda Croskrey's third-grade classroom, students Tobias Schaefer and David Kurns made sure they got the seat assignments they wanted to get the school year started on the right note.

At Sherwood Middle School, only incoming sixth-graders came to school on Tuesday. Other students start later. Student Ava Paul practiced unlocking her locker while her dad Jeromy waited to see if she needed help (she didn't). He said watching his daughter start middle school was bittersweet.

Right on the Tigard-Tualatin border, members of Mountainside High's freshman class — the first class that will spend all four years at the high school — had their first day on Tuesday, and were joined by sophomores Wednesday. The school will add a third and fourth class progressively over the next few years.

First-day festivities included a pep rally and group activities to help students form bonds as members of a new high school. Community members will have a chance to see the school during its grand opening celebration on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Just up the road, Vose Elementary School has been serving its Beaverton neighborhood since 1960 — but on Tuesday morning hundreds of K-5 students, along with their families and loved ones, lined up outside of a brand new school building.

Vose just finished a rebuild as part of the Beaverton School District's 2014 bond measure construction, and parents, students and administrators alike were eager to see their new school building. The school's students and faculty spent last year at 650 N.W. 118th Ave., the district's recently completed middle school building that is serving as a temporary second home for other schools as they are rebuilt.

"The most exciting part is just seeing the families come in and seeing their faces," said Veronica Galvan, Vose's principal. "Everyone's very excited — there's a huge line just to get in."

That line included Brayden Beck, a second grader at Vose who attended kindergarten in the old building. Beck told his mother Raci that he liked the new building's "vibrant colors," referring to a lime-green wall on the school's façade.

"I can't wait to see the inside," Raci Beck added. "I think it looks great on the outside, and it's a great improvement."

For Deshawn Bohannon, also a second grader, the new building is the only Vose he'll ever know. His family recently moved to Beaverton from Portland.

"He's excited," said Bohannon's father Tony. "It's a brand new school and a brand new area."

Beaverton also added a third new school, Sato Elementary School, on its far northern border in the North Bethany. It's a STEAM school — with a focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math. And although it's designed for 470 students, it opened Tuesday with about 300.

Principal Charli Hagseth said she was pleased by the progress the district made in getting the school ready for this week. "It's been a blast!" she said. "A million details, a million boxes to open, a million late-night meetings and early mornings. But here we are!"

Proud parents Vishal and Yogita Warke beamed as their daughter, Aditi, took her place in the first-grade classroom of teacher Katie Rice. Aditi quickly found her spot at a low table next to fellow student Jake Scamahorn.

"It's amazing, actually!" Vishal Warke said. "It's band new. The level of detail is great."

Third-grade teacher Lindsay Rodgers agreed. "It's been amazing, getting all of the procedures in place. 'Flexibility' is the word of the day," she said, then paused. "...and of the week, probably."

Reporter Dana Haynes contributed to this article.

Blair Stenvick
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