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New entry for May Street will be on 10th Street. Schuepbach Construction crew members Martin Marquez, foreground, and Aurelio Marquez smooth fresh concrete Monday on the plaza in front of the school’s main doors.

Staff got to work for the first official day in the new school since Hood River County School District gained temporary occupancy on Friday.

Work crews are taking care of details including concrete pouring, playground installation, landscaping and installing or adjusting fixtures, all while teachers and other staff members are stocking shelves and preparing desks, and getting equipment and supplies sorted out from boxes put into storage in mid-June when everyone moved out of the old school.

“It will be an unfinished product, but it will be ready for kids,” principal Kelly Beard said. Sept. 3 is the first day of the 2019-20 school year.

That old school, meanwhile, is well on its way to being gone. Only a few remnants of the single-story classroom section remain. The two-story gym building, the oldest part of the old facility, will be torn down in September and October, with completion by November. Measures will be taken to ensure student safety.

“This is really a beautiful school,” said Heidi Burns, who has taught at May Street for 14 years. “This is exciting to be here. We all loved the old building, but it had its issues,” Burns said, citing students having to avoid unsafe ceiling and floor areas.

Secretary Kim Maddy said Aug. 26 will be the first day all teachers are required to be in the building.

Outdoor plantings included returning to the school grounds two cherry trees donated in 2013 and 2014 by the Tsuruta, Japan, Sister City program. The trees were replanted Monday at the corner of 10th and Pine streets.

Other legacy items will include the 1956 bell, to be placed again near the front entrance, and the 1919 concrete bench, to be located in the central courtyard.

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