As students and teachers alike began the new school year at Tigard High School, they were introduced to a somewhat familiar but also brand-new environment. The school has undergone some heavy renovations with new sections finally open to the incoming residents.
It was first announced in 2016 that a 290-million-dollar bond had passed to revamp existing structures and build a new elementary school in the Tigard-Tualatin School District. This included a much-needed modernization of certain sections of THS that remained forgotten in past remodels.
Since construction first began in the summer of 2018, two wings to the school have been constructed and are finally being occupied.
The north wing visible to Durham Street, houses a new front entrance, administration offices, the commons and a variety of classrooms. This will be one of the most prominent additions to the school and is situated on the grounds of the old commons.
Along with the additional classrooms, they have been filled with new technologies and simple additions that hadn’t existed before to make life easier for the teachers.
“I think our new rooms are fantastic. We have a lot of storage now. There are mounted projectors in all of the rooms. The tables are also really nice, and they roll around so if you want to change groupings, you can do that really easily,” English teacher Jodi Mello said.
Towards the south end of the school, behind the ever-evolving “courtyard,” more development took place. Classrooms were torn down and rebuilt with another two-story building having subjects in computers, arts, journalism, engineering and auto will be.
They also left a massive space for Career and Technical Education (CTE) subjects where they brought back woodshop this year.
However, in the meantime, there is still a gracious amount of progress to be made before the school is anywhere near finished.
Many of the students and staff recognized that while parts of the school are looking better than they ever have, it doesn’t come without its difficulty.
“Even though we’ve got these two beautiful wings, there’s this mass of construction in between them that is still making it hard for people to navigate around the school,” Publications teacher Hillary Currier said.
Senior Jessica Miller added that “the buildings themselves look great, but it’s a little annoying that the south building doesn’t have bathrooms or water fountains.”
What still remains to be built is an expansion to the commons to use as the cafeteria, a new auxiliary gym with an athletic section and a completed courtyard along with other minor changes.
By the early 2020 school year, Tigard High is expected to have been completed. But, for now, parts of the existing building remain in ruins and newer sections rebuilt.
“I think that at the end of the day, when everything is done, it’s going to look amazing, we just have to live through the chaos,” Currier said.