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‘Just so meaningful for us’: Sledgehammers bring a new chapter as Bend Senior High breaks ground on reconstruction

(Update: adding comment from the 24-25 All student body president at Bend Senior High)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend Senior High School held a long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning - with officials wielding sledgehammers, not golden shovels - marking the start of a major renovation and reconstruction project aiming to revitalize the school for the next generation of students and beyond.

Class was dismissed Tuesday for the last time in portions of the school that will be demolished to make way for new buildings, including the gym, common spaces and many classrooms.

Bend's oldest high school was due - some would say overdue - for an upgrade and remodel, officials say, and will gain new facilities in the largest single project of Bend-La Pine Schools' voter-approved 2022 bond measure.

Phase 1 of the four-year $175 million project kicked off Thursday and is expected to take two years to complete.

Taj Erickson, Bend High's all student body president, said, "Our class gets to say like we were the last ones to be taught in this school, and we get to be a part of that long blue line soon. And I think it's just so meaningful for us."

School district representatives, project partners, school administrators and the 2025 class president were on hand for the symbolic event. Rather than digging into a mound of dirt, each one at a time slammed a sledgehammer into a cinder block, signifying the start of demolition on the school, parts of which date back to the mid 1950s.

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Matthew Draxton

Matthew Draxton is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Matthew here.


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