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School Improvement: Gilham Elementary School

The Eugene School District 4J bond measure resoundingly approved by voters in May 2013 included funds to improve and expand Gilham Elementary School, a neighborhood school in the Sheldon region in northeast Eugene.

After the bond measure was approved, the district hired GMA Architects to provide a master plan for Gilham that more thoroughly identified existing facility deficiencies, future growth potential, and alignment with district standards. GMA worked in a design team with Bassetti Architects as master planning consulting architects, involved staff, and incorporated input from families, staff and neighbors. More extensive renovations were recommended than could be addressed with the funds allocated in the current bond measure, so the design team recommended a phased approach to complete the work.

The improvements undertaken in 2016 included remodeling the main entrance and office to improve security, connecting the fourth and fifth grade classrooms to the main building, adding restrooms, and adding counseling, community and multipurpose classroom space. Other improvements identified in the master plan may be addressed in the future.

The new spaces include:

  • Outdoor breezeway converted to an interior hallway, eliminating the need for students to leave the building when moving about on campus.
  • STEAM lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) designed for groups of students to collaborate on all sorts of engaging projects, from rocket-building to painting, sculpture to robotics.
  • Community room with flexible seating to facilitate student use during the school day, PTO event preparation, and an expanded variety of after-school programs and community uses.
  • More restrooms, both multi-stall student restrooms in the 4th/5th grade neighborhoods and single-stall restrooms for use by staff, students, volunteers and visitors.
  • Two new small-group learning spaces.
  • New counseling office, more centrally located.

Renovations include ten classrooms—including 4th grade, 5th grade, learning center, and life skills—that have been beautifully remodeled, with added natural light, new casework, and significantly more storage. The remodeled rooms have been equipped with up-to-date technological capabilities, including interactive SMART Boards with ceiling-mounted projectors. Gilham’s office space also has been remodeled with added meeting space and a secured entry.

The Gilham Elementary School building improvements were completed by locally owned Wildish Building Co. in fall 2016.

These improvements were made possible by the 2013 bond measure—thanks, voters!


About the project 

• Architect team: GMA Architects in association with Bassetti Architects

• General contractor:  Wildish Building Co.

About the school bond measure

In May 2013, voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed a $170 million school bond measure to provide funding for 4J school improvements, including additions and improvements at Gilham Elementary School, a new track and field at Kelly Middle School, and replacing four of the district’s oldest school buildings with new buildings at the same sites. The bond measure also is paying for improvements at every 4J school, including new student technology, updated instructional materials, security upgrades, building improvements, and more.

Learn more

Gilham master plan 

Bond measure information