Crews break ground at middle schools

The last outdoor basketball and tennis games have been played at the asphalt courts at Hood River Middle School.

The start of construction of the school's new addition has brought changes at the campus at May and 18th streets. Crews from two construction companies started work last week on expansion and remodeling projects at Wy'east and Hood River middle schools. Both projects are scheduled for completion this summer.

At Hood River, two trees were cut down in back of the existing multipurpose building to make room for an access road and loading dock. Trees will be planted to replace those cut down, and the trees in front of the school will remain.

Construction fencing is up around the perimeter of the Hood River campus, and while the basketball poles have been removed the asphalt surface will remain for another three weeks ago before excavation begins. That's to reduce the amount of water soaking into the soil underneath; the softness of the fill under the asphalt is a key consideration in the project, according to Superintendent Jerry Sessions.

Sessions said the district received some complaints from neighbors about the loss of the trees along 18th.

"We know that even though you put another tree in it's years away from what it was," he said.

The $2.5 million Hood River Middle School project will feature classrooms and a multipurpose room. Contractor is Skyward Construction of Vancouver, Wash.

At Wy'east, the $1 million project will bring four new classrooms a remodeled special education classroom, and other improvements.

Meanwhile, at Hood River Valley High School, the two-story addition is scheduled for completion Feb. 3, but the school will probably wait until Spring Break to move in, Sessions said. The addition holds classrooms, a multipurpose for use in part by athletic teams and physical education, and a community room.

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