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Grants Pass middle schools are old, outdated, and overcrowded

A North Middle School teacher speaks out about the issues staff and students are facing.

Posted: Apr 6, 2019 2:59 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2019 7:35 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore.,--The Grants Pass School Board says that both North and South middle schools are old and outdated with serious structural deficiencies. The board says that both schools will either have to be rebuilt or renovated.

North Middle School has over 800 students but it's only built to hold 725.
 "The hallways are overcrowded, looks like a mob trying to transition from class to class," says Mason Mahaffie, a teacher at North Middle School.

Mahaffie describes the issue of overcrowding as a safety issue. He says that actual classrooms are big enough, there's just not enough of them. There's a reason he has every window always open in his classroom.

"We have no air conditioning, my classrooms usually about 80 plus degrees in a warm days, even if it's 75 outside," says Mahaffie.

Sherry Ely is on the school board and says the air condoning and overcrowding are just two of the issues that need to be addressed.

 "I'm seeing some real structural deficiencies in both of the buildings. They need updated systems, they need updated electrical and water," says Ely.

Both of the middle schools were built more than 50 years ago. Building a third middle school was discussed, but the board decided against that idea.

"Once you bring in a third middle school, even though you have less students at the school, you don't have the same number of staffing and you can't offer the same number of courses," says Ely.

If both North and South Middle Schools were to be rebuilt, it could cost up to $60 million each.

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