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'It's a real school'

Students file into Shady Cove's new building for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders Tuesday. The students will continue to share the elementary school's play area and cafeteria. / Jim Craven — — — — Shady Cove students begin moving into new, 'futurized' middle school

SHADY COVE ' Forget about the natural lighting, the high ceilings or the new middle school's numerous energy-efficient features.

It's those motion-detection lights that flash red or green when activated that had seventh-grader Corey Elmore enraptured Tuesday afternoon.

It looks futurized, said Corey, 14. The lights are like lasers. It's so cool.

Shady Cove's 138 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders moved out of their old classrooms and into the new, 6,250-square-foot building Tuesday afternoon.

School officials identified the need for a separate building to house middle school students back in 1994, but they were unable to move forward without funding.

Sixth- through eighth-graders were separated from the younger students and moved into two prefabricated buildings a few years later.

The new building is a dream come true, said Fred Alexander, a middle school math and science teacher at Shady Cove. It's still small enough that the students can connect to each other, to their teachers.

Gold Hill contractor Vitus Construction began working on the new building in June, and wrapped up the majority of the job last week.

There's still a few finishing touches left, said Daniel Johnson, principal of Shady Cove and Elk Trail schools.

The structure cost more than &

36;700,000 and was part of the &

36;34 million bond passed by Eagle Point School District 9 voters in 2000. Five additional projects funded through the bond are either completed or underway throughout the district.

Students on Monday got their first peek inside the new building. Many volunteered to move new desks, chairs and tables inside.

It's a real school, said eighth-grader Sam Carrethes, 13, on Tuesday. It's so big!

And the classrooms are a lot warmer, added eighth-grader Jennifer Wiley, 14.

The new building features a small conference room, four classrooms, lockers and a commons area for students.

Thanks to community donations, the building sports two outdoor learning areas. The roofs to the outdoor learning area will be installed later this year.

It's just a place for kids to come and hang out, Johnson said. They can move their science or art projects outside.

Middle school students will continue to share the elementary school's play area and cafeteria, but at different times than the younger children.

The prefabricated buildings will be turned into a computer lab for middle school students, Johnson added.

District projects

A new building that houses middle school students at Shady Cove School is the second completed project out of six planned within the Eagle Point School District.

Work on all six projects is financed by a &

36;34 million bond approved by district voters in 2000.

Mountain View Elementary

' A four-room classroom addition to the White City school was completed in September.

Eagle Point High School

' Work on a new, 14,000-square-foot gymnasium is expected to wrap up sometime this month.

Eagle Point Middle School

' A 56,000-square-foot middle school for 450 is expected to be built by September 2003.

Eagle Point Elementary School

' The 40,000-square-foot school will accommodate 350 students. The completion date is September 2003.

White City Middle School

' White City does not currently have a middle school. The new structure will be similar to the one in Eagle Point. The completion date is September 2003.

Students file into Shady Cove?s new building for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders Tuesday. The students will continue to share the elementary school?s play area and cafeteria. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Mail Tribune images