District Officials Break Ground for Two New Elementary Schools

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Hermiston School Board members Bonnie Luisi, Bryan Medelez, Karen Sherman, Josh Goller, Brent Pitney and Superintendent Dr. Tricia Mooney break ground Tuesday at the site of the future Loma Vista Elementary School. (Photos by Michael Kane)

On the day when all Hermiston students returned to in-class instruction, Hermiston School District officials and board members held ground-breaking ceremonies for two new elementary schools.

With the existing school in the backdrop, the first ceremony was held Tuesday for the future Rocky Heights Elementary School. Ninety minutes later, the same was done for the future Loma Vista Elementary School on N.E. 10th Street.

“This is a huge first step toward what was started in November 2019,” said Hermiston School Superintendent Tricia Mooney, who thanked current and former board members and others “who were instrumental in passing the 2019 bond measure.”

The first ceremony on Tuesday was at Rocky Heights Elementary School.

Rocky Heights Elementary School (RHES) will be a new, single-story building that will replace the existing structure in the same location. At about 73,500 square feet, the new school will serve approximately 600 students, with 24 classrooms, a library, gymnasium, multipurpose room, and other spaces. Work will include demolition of the existing RHES at Standard Avenue and Seventh Street, and site improvements will include two new parking lots with drop off areas, a main entry plaza, two new playfields, playground structures, and new perimeter fencing.

Loma Vista Elementary School (LVES) will also be a new, approximately 73,500-square-foot single-story building serving around 600 students in 24 classrooms, a library, gymnasium, multipurpose room, and other spaces. Loma Vista translates into Hill View. LVES will be located at N.E. 10th Street and East Theater Lane on undeveloped property. Site improvements include two new parking lots with drop off areas, a main entry plaza, a playfield, playground structures, and perimeter fencing.

Construction on the elementary school projects will begin this spring and conclude in the summer of 2022.

The new schools will be built by Kirby Nagelhout Construction, based in Bend with offices in Portland and Pendleton.

“Great communities have great schools and this is one step toward getting us there,” said Mooney during the Loma Vista ground-breaking ceremony. “It will be great to be housing students on this property instead of sand and sagebrush.”

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