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Last four closed Bend schools set to reopen Friday


For the first time in over a week, all Bend-La Pine schools and facilities will be open Friday, with rooftop snow-removal work being completed at the remaining four schools, officials said Thursday.

“I am sure that I join our parents and students in celebrating that we will be back in class tomorrow, Friday, January 20 – following our multiple-day closure,” Superintendent Shay Mikalson said in an announcement late Thursday afternoon.

“I have said it before, but it begs repeating: Our community is amazing, and I am so humbled by all of their support,” Mikalson added..

Mikalson said the four schools that were closed Thursday to allow for snow to be removed from their rooftops and around their properties — Elk Meadow, Pine Ridge and W.E. Miller elementary and Pilot Butte Middle School — will reopen on Friday.

However, the work wasn’t quite done yet. Officials said crews will continue work throughout the night at W.E. Miller and Elk Meadow elementary schools. Clean-up work also will continue at these two school sites on Friday.

Mikalson thanked more than 150 staff members, contractors and all of those who worked behind the scenes for working tirelessly for days to remove record-setting amounts of snow that was moved from the district’s rooftops and school sites to ensure students could get back into their schools this week, after last week’s collapse of the roof over the gym at Highland Elementary at Kenwood School.

But there still was one Central Oregon school closure Friday: Gilchrist School officials said they hope to complete snow removal Friday and reopen next week.

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