North Bend Trade Building

The new North Bend Trade Building under construction in this November 2018 photo.

NORTH BEND — The North Bend Trade Building is on track to be finished by early March.

North Bend High School Vice Principal Jake Smith has been overseeing the project and is pleased with how quickly the new building is going up.

“We’re having a meeting every other week with Tom Gayewski, who is in charge of the construction, our maintenance director at the district, myself and two representatives from HGE, the architect,” Smith said. “We talk about needs and changes to the building. We’re staying on track.”

Since construction began at the beginning of the school year, Smith said they encountered some utility challenges that dealt with permits and running utilities to the building, but that those issues were solved.

In the original bid, the sign of the new building was going to be made by a company in Portland. Because it would have been expensive, the school district is going to have it made by the high school’s metal shop instead.

“Now some kid, for the rest of their life, will be able to say they made that sign,” Smith said. “The metal shop program can buy the materials and we’ll still save several hundred dollars on the cost of having it done.”

Also since construction began, the classes that will one day be held at the building have been visiting each Friday to watch the structure go up.

“There is an emphasis on exposing structures, so it is a living classroom,” Smith said. “The physical architecture will be exposed, like plumbing and electrical wiring so the classroom itself can be a tool to show how it was built.”

Smith has seen students become excited about the construction program, saying it has quickly become popular.

“We have five high school sections and one middle school section, and they are full,” he said. “Kids want to be in the program. I’ve been down there on several occasions and they are having fun. . . I truly believe this will be an opportunity for the kids.”

To donate materials, call the high school’s main office at 541-756-8328.

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.