The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

Athey Creek’s new view

Athey Creek Middle School changed locations by designing and installing a new building

Athey Creek Middle School has been moved to Willamette Falls Dr. and opened its doors on Aug. 29 when this school year began. The old Athey Creek building is now home to Riverside High School, a new addition to the school district. The new building has been under construction since the beginning of the summer and started when the city approved the removal of a forest, a controversial subject in the community.

Despite the opening of the building, it is still under construction. The main gym has yet to be completed and the track and field is in the process of being installed. However, the wellness class is in session as the new school has two gyms, the auxiliary and the main gym. The two individual gyms are smaller than the one at Riverside, but combined, they make for a larger space. 

Chris Berg, wellness teacher, has worked at the school for 12 years and was a part of the transition into the new building.

“It was challenging because when we came in, we thought we were going to have the field and both gyms,” Berg said. “But, the track and field was not ready and the main gym had a lot of building materials in it.” 

During his time at the old Athey Creek, Berg had access to several acres of land and designed and installed a disc golf course. Even with these things left behind, the new building has its own set of qualities.

“We have done one way for so long so it really is just different,” Berg said. “But, there are a lot of positives. We are now in cross country season and now that we are in a community, we can do all of our runs off campus and have amazing opportunities for the kids to run outside. It also is just nice to be able to park my car and overlook the [Willamette River].”

The construction workers sometimes work 10-hour shifts, the majority of them between 4-3 a.m. These times are designed to not interfere with school hours and distract teachers or students with the construction.

“[The construction workers] are working as fast as they can but there’s been times when we come in and don’t have both gyms or a space to learn,” Berg said. “So, we have to sometimes completely change our lessons last minute and it really just keeps you on your toes.” 

Outside of two gyms, the building differs from the old Athey Creek in other ways. The elective classes and gyms are further from the core classrooms than they were in the other building. Anna Lisiecki, eighth grader at Athey Creek, noticed the change in layout. 

[The construction workers] are working as fast as they can but there’s been times when we come in and don’t have both gyms or a space to learn. So, we have to sometimes completely change our lessons last minute and it really just keeps you on your toes.”

— Chris Berg

“I miss how everything was closer together at the old [Athey Creek] and the lockers are also smaller at the new school,” Lisiecki said. 

Students have had to adapt to the new school, especially the ones who had been attending the school for multiple years.

“It was like sixth grade because I had to find my classes all over again,” Lisiecki said. “It is easier to navigate my classes since my grade is all on the same floor, but for the most part, it is pretty similar.”

Along with the changes already mentioned, the library is smaller than the one at Riverside. Julie Jones, sixth-grade science teacher, has worked at the school for 20 years and was concerned about the change in size.

“The library is a bit smaller and it’s not quite the same hangout and hub, but we have other locations for the activities they would do at the [old Athey Creek],” Jones said. “While we have our small communities, as a school, we’re a little more divided, like I never get to see the choir or gym teachers anymore.”

Outside of science, Jones has taught language arts and math during her time at Athey Creek. The move required packing the supplies she obtained throughout her career and subjects.

“I’ve been here for so long and taught a lot of core subjects so I had to pack glassware, curriculum books, science supplies, and more,” Jones said. “It was really stressful to try to get everything packed but it was also really sad. It was a big part of my life and it was weird leaving that space because I have so many memories associated with that location.”

Due to the construction, the teachers had less time to unpack their supplies and get situated. Along with this, Athey Creek received several new teachers this year, including a new principal and vice principal.

“We didn’t get a lot of time to [unpack] and the building was very chaotic when we first came in. Like, literally the day before school, anybody who came in still has to wear hard hats,” Jones said. “There’s been ups and downs but I appreciate the fresh start in this space instead of moving into a room and fitting myself in with what was already there.”

The building is expected to be fully completed within the next few weeks. In the meantime, there have been minor disruptions throughout the school year.

“Some days you did not have water that was not spraying everywhere and my hood started beeping during our first test,” Jones said. “We have not really had any disruptions except for a canceled assembly the first week of school because the gyms were not done.”

A tour of the new Athey Creek Middle School
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Lauren Sexton, Sports Editor
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