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Abandoned Willard School To Re-Open For Students Displaced By Construction

Brian Bull

A shuttered school in South Eugene will begin anew as a temporary site for students, during some construction projects. 

The Willard School closed decades ago. Much of it is now covered in graffiti and plywood, and homeless people have used it for shelter. But it’ll be spruced up beginning this fall, to house local students displaced by the construction of two new schools.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Walkways overgrown with weeds and boarded over windows will soon be restored for a temporary school facility beginning this fall.

Kerry Delf is spokesperson for Eugene School District 4J. She says Edison Elementary students will be at the Willard site for two years, starting in 2020.  Then Camas Ridge students will be there for two years, starting in 2022.

“That’s going to be starting with removal of the old classroom wings over the next couple of months," she tells KLCC.

"The gym will be renovated this winter, then over the course of the spring, the new classroom facilities will be installed.”

Credit Eugene School District 4J
A graphic shows how the Willard School will be renovated for two student bodies between 2020 and 2024.

The developments are funded by a voter-approved bond measure for 4J capital improvements, which raised over $319 million.  Delf says after students relocate to their new buildings, the Willard School may still be used for other needs.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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