Hermiston Students Return to Class

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Students enter the Hermiston High School building for the first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Photo by Daneli Atilano/Hermiston Herald)

School started Wednesday, Aug. 30, in the Hermiston School District with the thrill of the new.

“I’m excited,” HSD Superintendent Dr. Tricia Mooney said. “I count down to the first day of school from the last day of school, so I’m really excited to have all of our kids and staff back in the buildings. It’s been a busy summer with projects and we still have some work going on at some of our buildings.”

These projects include renovations at Highland Hills Elementary School, which launched Phase 1 of the school district’s construction plans at the beginning of the summer.

This phase will include, according to the district’s bidding ad, “revised bus and parent drop-off areas, new and renovated parking, new stormwater facilities, new fencing and security, renovated courtyard area, new and renovated pedestrian canopies, removal of existing modular classrooms and a new covered play area.”

Once those renovations are complete, Phase 2 will begin next summer. It consists mainly renovating the school’s interior. The ad said it includes “ADA barrier removal, security upgrades, interior renovations to the admin suite and library, HVAC upgrades to the North and South classroom buildings, and the installation of new playground equipment.”

Another recently completed district project greeted first-day students at Hermiston High School. Gone are the days of walking in the cold to reach four outdoor modules, thanks to a new annex, a 26,640-square-foot building with 13 classrooms. The $13 million addition was opened to the public in a ribbon-cutting ceremony six days earlier.

“I’m looking forward to another great year,” Mooney said.

It seems Mooney isn’t the only one that is excited. Aubri Tejeda an eighth grader at Armand Larvie Middle School said, “I’m very excited to go back to school and see all of my friends. I’m really looking forward to playing sports this year.”

Her brother, Kingston Tejeda a sophomore at Hermiston High School shared the same enthusiam, “I’m happy to be back at school with all of my friends.”

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