BEND, OR -- When student head back to class next week, many in Bend will walk the halls of a brand new school. Superintendent Shay Mikalson tells KBND opening Pacific Crest Middle School and Silver Rail Elementary helps balance enrollment. He says 28 out of the last 29 years have seen enrollment increases. "We’re a growing district. In the last 10 years, we’ve grown over 3,000 students, actually almost 4,000 students and continue to grow. Thanks to the support of voters in the 2013 bond, we’re able to balance some of those enrollments, specifically at the elementary and middle school. So those to come on and obviously those have impacted schools across our district."
Mikalson says about 17,000 students will head back to class next week, along with 1800 employees. "We anticipate almost 300 [new] students this year. I think our projections start to say another 3,000 over the next 10 years – that’s 120 new classrooms. While we’re building, we’re constantly looking forward; and in fact this year, we start that sites and facility visioning process forward again."
The public is invited to tour the two new schools, starting Wednesday. "Pacific Crest Middle School is having their ribbon cutting and dedication. That’s on the Westside over by Miller Elementary School. That’s at 4:30, open to the public. We’d love folks to be there, it’s a way for them to see what their support has done for our schools. You can get tours, meet the staff, there’s even a Bar-B-Q." Thursday, Silver Rail Elementary will hold its public dedication, beginning at 4 p.m. That school is near Brosterhous and American Lane. For more information, click HERE.