BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Ken Rogers’ 9-year-old grandson won’t be back inside West Tualatin View Elementary School until early November. That’s because the school is closed for contractors to finish a full roof replacement to stop persistent leaks.
The students and staff will now have classes at the Timberland neighborhood middle school through November 1, about 2 miles away from the elementary.
Currently, the middle school — with a 1200-student capacity — has about 700 students enrolled. About 350 students will move over from the elementary.
“It’s a confusing mess,” Rogers told KOIN 6 News. “I think the district has probably done all they can do.”
The $1.4 million project, paid through a 2014 bond, is taking the old roof off and replacing it with a new roof.
Rogers said the students have been out of schools since last Thursday. “It does seem like the preventative maintenance should have been done this summer instead of waiting until September.”
Josh Gamez, the Chief Facilities Officer for the Beaverton School District, said the district started the project in July.
“We wanted to have an earlier start with the project but we didn’t get any successful bids for that, which led to the award on July 10,” Gamez told KOIN 6 News. “The plan was to always get us through October 20 with this current project. When school started on September 3, it was to have a water-tight building when school back back in session. That was our plan.”
But the heavy rains in August began causing “significant water leaks” in the building, he said. “You just had water dripping from the ceilings, getting on ceiling tiles and the carpet.”
Those water leaks caused air quality concerns, he said, and the school did some testing.
“The results came back and even though there is water damage (and) there is some fungal growth in the building there was no significant air quality issues inside the building,” Gamez said. “We were just taking the precautions and made it a priority to move the students and staff over to the new middle school.”
With students and staff out of the building, more construction workers can be onsite each day to get the job done by their target date of November 1.
Ken Rogers was concerned about the weight of the water and roofing materials on top of the 66-year-old building. But he’s hopeful the project will be done on time.
“I hope so. They seem to have a pretty good size crew on it now, so let’s hope, you know, for everybody’s sake – especially the teachers – so they can get back in.”
Facilities Director Josh Gamez wants parents to know they’re very sorry for the inconvenience.
“But we made a decision to make safety and health our Number One priority.”
Updated bus information is available on the school district’s website. Anyone with questions is urged to call the school office at 503.356.2510.
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