North Bend High School Trade Building

The recently completed $1.3 million North Bend Trade Building will see career and technical education program students this fall.

SOUTH COAST — Education on the southern Oregon coast is leaping forward in what it offers students.

Inside today's paper is the first issue of The World's annual South Coast Strong edition, which takes an in-depth look at these infrastructure improvements. Some of these expansions range from playgrounds splashed with the color of Disney Inc., younger students being brought into career training programs and brand new schools being built with state-of-the-art technology.

One of the highlights of work being done to local schools is the brand new North Bend Trade Building.

This $1.3 million structure was completed this past spring and will be the home of a new Career and Technical Education Program, taught by experienced construction teacher Garrett Holmes who has spent most of June setting up the classrooms and moving in the equipment.

“No, it isn’t all in yet,” said Darrell Johnston, principal of North Bend High School. “Everything is mostly in and it looks great.”

Johnston said that Holmes and his students have made some “pretty cool stuff” to go into the new building, too.

“(This program) will benefit the community by putting out job-ready construction workers who will aid in completing homes and other projects that are currently delayed due to lack of labor,” Johnston said. “Students enrolled are engaged in schooling and the CTE students are graduating on time at a higher than normal rate.”

To make this dream happen, the North Bend School District received a state grant for $332,000 and paid for the rest with funds from Measure 98.

In previous interviews about the building, NBHS Vice Principal Jake Smith said the new construction program has become popular among the students.

“We have five high school sections and one middle school section and they are full,” he said previously. “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.”

For the first time, South Coast Strong is being split into four separate publications over the next four weeks, every Saturday in July. The special section will also be included in the Umpqua Post and Bandon Western World the weeks following publication in The World. 

In the July 13 edition, stories will feature how healthcare on the South Coast has changed and improved in the last year, followed on July 20 by strides in revitalizing the waterfronts in both Coos Bay and North Bend. In the final week of South Coast Strong on July 27, local organizations will be featured in their efforts to better daily life for citizens and visitors to the southern Oregon coast.

As Coquille School District Superintendent Tim Sweeney always says, "It's a great time to be in Coquille," The World editorial board amends to say, "It's a great time to be on the South Coast."

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.