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NORTH BEND — “This has been a dream and it came true,” said Bill Yester, superintendent of the North Bend School District, as he stood inside the new North Bend Trade Building.

Members of the Oregon Department of Education came to town on Monday April 29 to hold a near-completion review of the building, which is part of the process for the district receiving the $332,000 grant for the project. The rest of the building was paid for from Measure 98 funds.

North Bend School District administrators walk through the new North Bend Trade Building during a near-completion review conducted by the Oreg…

Though most of the $1.3 million building is complete, the outside is still being painted while classroom materials will continue to be moved in between now and the next fall term.

“We’ve got a bunch of lumber down in the current construction classroom and students are building the workbenches there,” said Jake Smith, vice principal at the North Bend High School. “We won’t actually conduct a class in the new building until fall and we hope this summer there is time to set up. There’s a lot of thought and work in setting up a classroom like that, the tools and 18 modules that have to be organized.”

The Construction Technology teacher, Garrett Holmes, said the general feeling from the school administration and students has been excitement.

“Over the past several weeks, we’ve been building tables and countertops and that gives the students a sense of ownership,” he said. “ODE has been part of it the whole way, too. It’s been cool to see them take an active role with the (Career and Technical Education) programs in the state and we hope to make this something to be proud of and that people can come see.”

North Bend High School Vice Principal Jake Smith stands with members from the Oregon Department of Education during a near-completion inspecti…

One of the visiting members of ODE was Ron Dodge, a business education specialist. As he walked through the new trade building, he said that it looked “state-of-the-art.”

“I’m impressed,” he said. “This is money well spent.”

When asked if ODE has seen other trade buildings being constructed throughout the state, he said no.

Construction technology teacher, Garrett Holmes, is in the process of moving the program into the new North Bend Trade Building. Classes will …

“Money being spent on the revitalization grant are mostly going to tools and equipment, maybe upgrading infrastructure,” Dodge said. “With Ballot Measure 98, there was some money freed for schools to make infrastructure changes, though mostly retrofitting buildings, not manufacturing anything. Schools are modifying wings or building a small facility, a lean-to or an add-on, but nothing like this.”

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.

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