By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes

Whiteaker Middle School will be closed during the summer for major repairs and renovations.

“We have major work getting done on the whole building, inside and out,” said Laura Perez, the school’s principal.

Construction crews will:

•  Replace the roof, windows, floor coverings, siding, water supply lines and damaged ceiling tiles;

• Install solid partition walls in eight classrooms;

• Repair and/or replace heating and ventilation units; and,

• Seal the building’s exterior.

Funding for this extensive to-do list mainly comes from the $242 million construction bond that gained voter approval in November 2008.

The work is so extensive that the school building will be considered a construction zone and all public access will be blocked to ensure a safe environment.

Perez and her summer staff will be based at Gubser Elementary School. They can still be reached by calling the Whiteaker number, 503-399-3224.

Moving begins in force Monday, with most items temporarily stored in the gym. Lile Moving & Storage will handle the bulk of the heavy lifting, though district tech staff is in charge of the computers.

“Teachers have actually been cleaning their rooms for months,” said Perez. “We asked them to go one shelf at a time beginning the first of the year. If they haven’t used something for three or four years, it’s probably time to let it go.”

Remodeling should be completed by Tuesday, Aug. 31.

“I think they’re excited,” Perez said of the students’ reactions. “But I don’t think kids get as excited about those kinds of things as we do. We’re so excited to get new flooring and new lighting and new ceiling tile. I mean, we’re real excited because we are a school that really needs a lot of work done.”

Funds for new lighting came from a grant.