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A brand new space

Jamie Lusch / Mail TribuneStudents and staff participate in a dodgeball game at the school's new gym and "makers space" at Jewett Elementary on Friday.
Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Logan Ball, education assistant, participates in a dodgeball game at the school new gym and "makers space" at Jewett Elementary on Friday.
Jewett Elementary unveils building with new gym, maker space, lab

CENTRAL POINT — It’s not everyday that a public school dodgeball match involves Buddy the Elf and the Grinch from two classic holiday movies.

The two characters were fierce against one another during the event at Jewett Elementary to christen the new gym and makerspace — where, at one point, the Grinch fell flat on his back when a ball struck him.

“He is (a) killer with those snow balls,” Logan Ball, a teaching assistant who played the Grinch, said when referring to his rival, Buddy.

But when the match was over, the Grinch and Buddy shook hands and gave each other a pat on the back.

“It’s always good to be a good sportsman,” Ball said. “After all, my heart did grow three sizes a few years ago.”

The 12,000-square-foot facility they used Friday was just one of several Central Point School District 6 capital projects, made possible by a $6.5 million bond measure.

The bonds will also pay for the original Jewett Elementary’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, along with electrical and plumbing upgrades.

The new building, however, was the star of Friday’s festivities, in which school officials and students gathered around to make remarks before using the gym.

“What an exciting day,” said John Greeny, principal of Jewett. “It’s not every day we get a new building — what a great gift to the students of Jewett Elementary.”

He gave a tour of the building to the Mail Tribune, talking first about the gym. The old one was turned into a cafeteria due to COVID-19 precautions.

“We’re running lunches from 10:30 a.m. up until 1 p.m.,” Greeny said. “The way we have things set up, we can’t just break it down and turn it back into a gym.”

He said a new gym will allow them to have physical education classes regardless of the weather.

“When there’s inclement weather, they are stuck in the classroom playing board games — things like that,” Greeny said. “In January, we will start scheduling their classes intended for PE.”

Greenly also talked about the advantages the makerspace and tech lab will bring.

“The kids have a class out here once a week — sometimes more, depending on what they’re working on — but it’s an opportunity for them to design, create, innovate and apply what they’re learning in the classroom and put it into some real-world applications,” Greeny said.

While it’s upperclassmen who use the makerspace weekly, the new facility will allow younger students to use the step stools to reach the high lab tables.

The school’s makerspace coordinator, Jasper Stead, added, “the thought of getting the kids in here is overwhelming.”

“This is going to make it so much better for the kids … they won’t be tripping over each other,” he said.

The makerspace will replace one that’s used in an older building on campus that utilizes things Greenly and Stead picked up during a trip to San Diego.

“This is going to be a game-changer for (the students),” Stead said.

The tech lab, which has yet to be fully set up, will include computers, a 3-D printer and green screen.

“If it’s technology-oriented, it’s going to be here,” Greeny said. “This is going to enable us to spread out a little more.”

Superintendent Walt Davenport spoke at the building dedication, saying the new facility is a symbol of the Jewett community’s perseverance.

“This building and all that’s been put into it really speaks to this community persevering through the COVID-19 implications, supply chain issues, the mud, the mess,” he said.

Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.