A new building on the Bend High School campus will be named after Robert D. Maxwell, a Medal of Honor recipient and longtime automotive teacher at the high school.

The Bend-La Pine School Board agreed at its Tuesday meeting to name the building the Robert D. Maxwell Center.

The new building, scheduled to open this fall, will be on the same site where Maxwell taught automotive classes for decades. The building will include a large multipurpose room and four new classrooms. It will be funded through the construction bond passed by voters in 2017.

Bend High School Principal Christopher Reese wanted to honor Maxwell, who was an important part of the school’s Veterans Day celebrations and was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient in Oregon at the time of his death May 11, 2019, at 98.

“His character withstands the test of time,” Reese said. “He was a phenomenal teacher. He was a phenomenal human. It was truly an honor to get to know Bob Maxwell and all he represented.”

Maxwell’s name was considered for Bend’s new high school, but the board voted last year to name it Caldera High School.

Dick Tobiason, chairman of the Bend Heroes Foundation, said his longtime friend would have preferred to have the Bend High School building named after him.

“Knowing Bob, he didn’t like anything big and grand,” Tobiason said. “He was just a humble guy that wanted to do his job. It just fits Bob to a T.”

Maxwell, a World War II veteran, served as an Army Technician and jumped on a German grenade in September 1944, saving the lives of four American soldiers. For his heroic actions, Maxwell received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest medal for valor and bravery.

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Reporter: 541-617-7820, kspurr@bendbulletin.com

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