The construction of Bend’s 16th elementary school, North Star, is on time and on budget, according to Gina Franzosa, a project manager with Bend-La Pine Schools. She said the record snowstorm in late February only slowed down work by a couple days, and the August move-in date for teachers hasn’t changed.
“It’s coming together incredibly, and I think it looks fantastic,” Franzosa said of North Star, located at the intersection of O.B. Riley and Cooley roads on Bend’s north side.
The $33.2 million school mostly copies the design of Silver Rail Elementary, built on the opposite side of Bend in 2015. The building will be two stories tall, with four wings with six classrooms, small meeting rooms and a common area in each wing. There will also be a high-ceilinged cafeteria, media room/library, gym and music room.
North Star’s principal, Kevin Gehrig, said the building will have two main cosmetic differences from Silver Rail: First, the exterior will be burnt-red and light silver, instead of green. Secondly, the building’s 24 classrooms will have windows that look into the common areas, so teachers can keep an eye on students working on group projects or wandering the hallways.
In July, the surrounding fields will be ready, according to Gehrig. The fields will feature two baseball diamonds and two sets of playground equipment, one on each side of the building.
Some classrooms are mostly complete, with lockers, cubbies and ceiling fans already in place.
North Star will welcome 600 students from north Bend through its doors in September. Although its name was chosen in February, the school’s students will get to choose its colors at an April 18 meet-and-greet with North Star teachers. The event, where the school’s mascot will be unveiled, will be held at Sky View Middle School from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Construction on Bend’s fourth major high school, located in southeast Bend, will begin in July, according to the school district.