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MailTribune.com
  • A sad end to 192 years of instruction

    That's about how long the Jackson and Roosevelt school buildings had served Medford schoolchildren
  • Crews began razing the oldest parts of Medford's Jackson and Roosevelt elementary schools Thursday, slowly clawing away at the campuses' gymnasiums with excavators.
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  • Crews began razing the oldest parts of Medford's Jackson and Roosevelt elementary schools Thursday, slowly clawing away at the campuses' gymnasiums with excavators.
    Spectators watched the demolitions, sharing memories about the schools and seeking shade from the hot sun under nearby trees.
    "It's kind of sad," said Roosevelt sixth-grader Caitlin Aguilar, as she and her mother, Michelle, watched Roosevelt's gym slowly fall into a pile of rubble. "We are glad they are going to rebuild it."
    Caitlin remembered singing "Reflection" by Christina Aguilera inside the gym for the school's talent show when she was in the second grade.
    "She was so nervous she almost backed out at the last minute, and then, she did it," Michelle Aguilar recalled.
    The schools, built in 1911, were closed more than a year ago because of structural problems, and students were dispersed to other Medford campuses.
    The brick 1911 buildings and 1931 gymnasiums are coming down and will be replaced. Newer classroom wings and libraries will remain in place and undergo renovation.
    The demolition work by Three Kings Environmental, of Battle Ground, Wash., continues through next week, said Medford schools facilities director Mark Button. Cleanup will likely take another three weeks. The total cost to raze both schools is about $450,000.
    About $12.4 million from a $189 million bond issue voters approved in November 2006 has been budgeted to reconstruct and revamp each school.
    For about six months, it was unclear whether the schools would ever reopen. The Medford School Board for a time considered closing both schools permanently, but the idea met strong opposition from some of the community.
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