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Construction FAQ: Edison

Following are some frequently asked questions about the upcoming construction of the new Edison Elementary School building. This FAQ will be updated over time as the project progresses and new questions arise. 

Overview & Timeline 

What is happening and why?

Preliminary work and construction for the new school building for Edison Elementary School will begin soon.

Local voters approved a bond measure in November 2018 to fund capital improvements at every 4J school and replace North Eugene High School, Edison Elementary School, and Camas Ridge Elementary School with high-quality facilities built for school safety, modern seismic standards, sustainability, and 21st century education.

Where will students go during construction?

The new elementary school will be built in the same spot where the old building is now on the small school property, requiring Edison to relocate from its current building to a temporary site while the new school building is constructed.

During construction, Edison will move to the Willard swing school at 29th and Lincoln for two school years, 2020–21 and 2021–22.

What is the timeline for construction?

Some minor pre-construction work will begin in the neighborhood in July 2020. Abatement will take place in October, followed by demolition of the Edison building most likely in December.

New construction will begin in winter 2020–2021 and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2022.

The exact schedule is not set as the design and permitting process are not yet complete. Stay tuned for future updates.

What is happening in summer 2020?

The first pre-construction projects, starting in July, are rerouting the sewer line that runs under Edison and connecting it to one in Onyx Street, and placing a gravel pad in the grassy field area at the school site. Some traffic interruptions should be expected.

The addition of a gravel pad for equipment will reduce mud and mess at the school site and in the neighborhood during construction. The gravel is being delivered now, in advance of construction, to save costs by relocating excess gravel from the Willard project site without multiple haulings and storage fees.

Will there be an increase in neighborhood traffic?

There will construction traffic, with varied intensity of traffic in the neighborhood depending on the construction activity taking place.

The district is working with the contractor to minimize inconveniences to the neighborhood and to be a good neighbor during construction. The contractor will comply with all applicable traffic, noise and other applicable codes and regulations.

We will communicate regularly to neighbors to keep the neighborhood informed about upcoming activities.

Will the demolition involve hazardous materials? 

The district has worked over the years to reduce hazardous materials in our schools.

For this project we specifically hired a professional environmental engineering firm to explore, analyze and determine the presence of any hazardous materials including asbestos.

We also have contracted with a licensed and bonded abatement contractor who will work under the rules and regulations mandated by the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency, LRAPA.

What are the plans for the school’s trees?

Trees are an important part of both the school’s site and the neighborhood. We are working with both a landscape architecture firm and a local arborist to save and minimize impact to as many trees as possible. However, the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a new building footprint unfortunately will require the removal of some trees. We also plan to plant a number of new trees to supplement and complement the existing trees that remain.

Do I need to sign up to get updates on the bond projects taking place in my neighborhood?

The district encourages anyone interested in the school bond projects to subscribe to receive occasional significant updates. You can sign up for the bond news email list by sending an email to bond@4j.lane.edu, and follow our Facebook page for ongoing updates on 4J bond projects.

The near neighbors of major school bond projects will receive some notifications through other means, regardless of whether or not you subscribe to the bond newsletter. Different planning and construction activities require different types of notifications and the district will endeavor to keep all of our community informed.

Facilities

Is there an opportunity for community members to see and say goodbye to the old Edison Elementary building?

The district has created a virtual visit video to give families, alumni, neighbors and other community members one last look at the Edison building, as an in-person farewell event could not be held due to the coronavirus pandemic. The school also held a physically distanced parade and drive-through farewell visit and celebration for families on the last day of school.

The video can be viewed on Vimeo or Facebook.

Will any portions of the old Edison Elementary building be preserved?

The new Edison will honor the building’s history with historic displays and repurposing some materials in an interpretive preservation approach, not by preserving any portions of the building façade in place. This was the preferred approach identified by community input in the preliminary design planning process (see https://www.4j.lane.edu/2019/08/edison-elementary-school-design-direction).

Some elements from the old Edison building will be incorporated into the new school, as has been done with other school building replacements in the past. Discussion with the architects is underway regarding items that may be incorporated into the design of the new Edison.

The district has heard repeated expressions of interest from community members regarding saving some bricks from Edison as mementos and will seek to make that possible during the demolition process.

Will other materials be reused or recycled when the building is demolished?

When demolishing a school building, the district takes steps to reuse or recycle items or dispose of materials in a sustainable manner, to the extent feasible without increasing costs or adding delays in the tight timeline of the construction schedule and consistent with board policy on disposition of property.

First, the things that will be needed in the new building—teachers’ classroom materials, library books, etc.—were packed and moved. The furniture and casework—shelving and cabinets—at Edison largely are being moved to the Willard site.

After moving out everything the school will need for continued operations, various items, from doorknobs to kitchen equipment, that are in good condition, suitable, and expected to be needed for reuse in 4J schools will be salvaged for other school locations or stored for future use. Items of value that the district will no longer use may be sold, such as the generator.

Any remaining furniture and equipment will be offered to other school districts, charter schools and private schools. Next, local nonprofit organizations such as BRING Recycling will be invited to collect items they wish for reuse or recycling. For example, when the old Howard school building was being replaced, surplus kitchen equipment was donated to the Eugene Mission homeless shelter, which had lost all of its kitchen equipment in a fire.

Finally, as the demolition progresses, building materials will be sorted and recycled where applicable, keeping more materials out of the landfill.

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