By Gabriel McDaniel
North Eugene High School: Rebuild or Renovate?
North Eugene High School: Do we rebuild it from the ground up, or renovate what we have now? The North Eugene High School building has been around since October 21, 1957, and the building has held strong since. Yet, this historic building has seen some decay over time, and now the 4J School Board is asking this question.
In an interview with Eileen Nittler, one of North Eugene’s representatives on the 4J School Board, she lifted the veil on what was going on behind the scenes during the discussions between the School Board on what to do. When asked about what the School Board intends to do to North Eugene, and why the discussion of making a new building has slowly shifted towards renovating the school, Eileen said, “Well, it takes $153,000,000 to make a new school and to renovate it would take $113,000,000. But, even so, I’d love to see a new school building made.” She also confirmed that taxpayers in Eugene would have taxes raised by an average of $14 a month to pay for either project, but which would be more beneficial in the long run? In her own opinion, Eileen Nittler thinks it’s better to rebuild, as she states, “If we rebuild, we can add amenities that weren’t available when the original North Eugene building was built. We could put in an earthquake shelter for students, and a kitchen should disaster strike and people need food. A better auditorium, and more areas for students to stay after school. More room and even wider hallways.” So clearly this new building could be a boon to students in and out of school with new areas which can allow for more people, and maybe new classes.
But, some have asked the question of where the new school would be built. The new high school would be built where Silver Lea Elementary is located, which includes two programs known as Corridor and Yujin Gakuen. That is, if the vote passes, the elementary school would be taken down to place the new high school at that location. As of this moment, the location for where the elementary would go is up in the air. Some would also ask “what about the students, what do they want?” Well, the 4J School Board was on top of this as well. They put out a survey asking what people would want from North Eugene in the future. As Eileen Nittler says, “We did a test last year, one to the students, and one to the general community. People overwhelmingly wanted a new school.” Even as a general consensus, it seems even beyond the 4J School Board, people want a new North Eugene High School.
So, what will come in the future? Currently, the answer can only be predicted, and while students might want a new high school, if it were to happen there is a good chance it wouldn’t happen while they were in school. But, for the future, the 4J School Board predicted that when the vote comes around, people will vote for a new high school for North Eugene. “We feel like a new building will win out as the vote comes,” says Eileen Nittler. The final vote will commence on May 18, 2018, and only time and patience will tell what will happen to North Eugene High School.