Gresham Gophers break ground on grandiose new campus

Mock-up of new Gresham High School

The massive, multi-year Gresham High School (GHS) renovation is now underway!

On Wednesday, the district broke ground on the nearly $300 million project voters approved a year and a half ago.

The students piled outside to celebrate and to make a few jokes.

“Although I know the new building will be amazing, I’ll miss walking down the halls and discovering a new hole in the ceiling,” Lily Vu, the sophomore class president, said.

The ground-breaking marks the end of an era, but also the beginning of something many see as better.

GHS Principal Michael Schaefer said more than 70 percent of the school is getting redone. He added that the new buildings will house, "63 classrooms, computer labs and general spaces for students with the courtyard."

The students will notice a lot of change inside the buildings, but the community will notice a big change to the corner of Division and Main. The plans show a new building that will take over most of the existing parking lot. It’s a very modern design, but inside it, students will practice some of the world's oldest crafts. It'll house the new performing arts center.

Still, one of the most important changes, isn't just for beauty, it's for the better.

"There will be only one way in and out of the building throughout the day, and sadly that’s something we think about often in these days," Schaefer said.

The school's more than 100 years old. In that time, the building's certainly changed, but what it's morphed into won't work anymore. It's time for something new, to rebuild, while making sure the memories aren't buried.

Wednesday marked the beginning of phase one of two for Gresham High School. Phase one is expected to finish up by Fall 2019. Phase two, which consists of the gym, a common area, offices and a media center, will start Summer 2019 and finish up January 2021.

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