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Featured Event: Eastwood Elementary School Gym Grand Opening

February 10, 2020On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Eastwood Elementary School held a schoolwide grand opening celebration for its new gym. Expressions of awe and surprise filled the air as students entered the sparkling interior for the very first time, along with the staff and some of the Eastwood families.

“It’s so huge,” exclaimed one student, accompanied by countless “wows,” “oohs,” and just excited shrieks from his fellow schoolmates.

The excitement was contagious and thrilled the project staff and District leaders and personnel in attendance, particularly School Board Chair Erika Lopez, an alumna of the school.

Principal Lindsay Garcia welcomed everyone to the “beautiful” gym, noting, “it has been such a journey to watch the gym being constructed in front of our eyes and it’s been so amazing to work with all of the many people who have been a part of this awesome project.”

She recognized the School Board, Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, and Superintendent Mike Scott for their leadership. She thanked Mahlum Architects, who designed the gym; Five Star Builders, who constructed the gym; and Cornerstone Construction Management, specifically, Luke Harkness, for overseeing the project.

School Board member Martin Granum also recognized Kevin Zuercher from Hillsboro Parks & Recreation (also a member of the oversight committee), who will be running the recreational basketball program that will utilize the new gym, starting with that night’s inaugural game.

Granum noted that the gym is a community resource as well as a school resource. In addition to serving as a venue for recreational sports, the gym is also “seismically resilient,” able to withstand a major earthquake, and a safe place to shelter afterward.

He cited the importance of gym spaces to lifetime fitness. He reminisced about his own elementary gym, built a hundred years ago by the leaders in his own community, and how his PE teacher taught him to love sports and fitness. This love has carried on from his elementary years in the ‘70s to his current participation in marathons, including the Iron Man. He has been able to share this love of fitness with his daughter as well.

“There are intergenerational, good things,” Granum said, “that come from kids having a gym in their elementary school.”

Along with Granum, Eastwood students Kiara, Lily, Cesar and Lindsay thanked the project team, the community, and the voters who approved the bond money that made the gym and other improvements at Eastwood possible.

“This gym means a lot to me and the other Eastwood students,” said Kiara, “because it is a place where we will have assemblies and students can be honored here ... [and also] allow many students to discover their talents, as they learn different sports and activities.”

Cesar appreciated that they now have a space separate from the cafeteria. “It is very special to us because we now have such a big space.”

“We will have space for new games and to play sports like basketball and volleyball,” Lindsay added.

Cesar and Lily concluded, “[we] think this gym is awesome and cannot wait to start using it!”

To wrap up the celebration, all of the students and teachers participated in their very first activity in the gym – “La Raspa,” a Mexican folk dance – which they had been practicing for weeks in their cramped, combined gymacafetorium space (and now can be used as simply a cafeteria). Overall, it was a joyous occasion to celebrate the completion of a beautiful school and community resource.

The $408 million Hillsboro School District Bond, approved by voters in November 2017, is currently starting its third year of projects. In addition to the gym, Eastwood received a new parent/bus dropoff and parking lot in 2018; a new playground, building improvements, and a new modular building for its preschool in 2019; and will be installing upgrades to its security system and roofing in 2020. The total bond investment in the school will be $11.4 million. 

View Eastwood’s project archive for photos and video of the gym construction.

Hillsboro Tribune article by Max Egener

Hillsboro Tribune photo gallery by Christopher Oertell

Scroll down to see photos.