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Roosevelt, neighbors to discuss construction

The Medford School District will hold a neighborhood meeting Wednesday to present construction plans for renovations and replacement buildings at Roosevelt Elementary School.

Project manager Bush Consulting of Eagle Point, architect Opsis of Portland and DCI Structural Engineers of Portland will present the information and take questions at the meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the front lawn at Roosevelt, 112 Lindley St.

The circa 1911 portion of the school and circa 1931 gymnasium will be demolished this summer and later replaced with a new building. The library and classroom wing built in 1949 will be renovated and incorporated into a new main building with a centralized circular commons.

"You won't be able to tell the difference between the new and the old," said architect Alex Holser of Opsis.

The commons will be the center of a radial system that opens into the administrative office, library and computer labs and clusters of three to four classrooms to foster what is known as small learning communities. Small learning communities focus on small group instruction and collaboration between teachers. The cafeteria will be renovated and retained as a separate building. The gymnasium also will be built as a separate structure.

Construction is set to kick off in late summer or early fall.

The commencement of construction will come as a relief to some Roosevelt parents who lobbied passionately for preservation of the school, which the Medford School Board once considered mothballing to consolidate operations at other elementary schools.

Roosevelt and its sister school, Jackson Elementary, were vacated last June because of structural deficiencies.

Roosevelt's some 450 pupils were sent to McLoughlin Middle School and Hoover Elementary School. They will remain there until construction concludes in late fall 2009.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or pachen@mailtribune.com.