District Breaks Ground on New Science Wing at Canby High School

The century-old Canby High School campus took the next major step in its evolution this week, breaking ground on a new science and general education wing — which will replace the so-called “200 Wing” on the school’s south side.

The project, including design, demolition and new construction, was the biggest ticket item out of the new 20-year, $75 million capital construction bond Canby School District voters approved in May 2020.

In brief remarks before the June 8 groundbreaking at CHS, School Board Vice Chair Tom Scott noted how exceptional it was for voters to OK the massive investment in the city’s schools — just a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic uncertainty it wrought.

“We went out for a vote in May of 2020, and if you guys remember, May of 2020 was a time of a lot of uncertainty,” Scott said. “For our community to step up for a … bond [under those circumstances] was really an incredible thing.

“We have an incredibly supportive community. They love our kids, and they love to support them. So, most of all, thank you to our community members.”

Canby High School Principal Greg Dinse agreed.

“This community continues to support Canby High School and the Canby School District and it’s really evident in the 2020 bond,” Dinse said. “That was a huge commitment that the community made, and they made that commitment because they value the work that we’re doing.”

With an estimated price tag of $35 million, the 50,000-square-foot wing is the largest and most expensive project in the district’s bond package. It will feature upgraded science labs, meeting rooms, shared learning spaces and common areas.

The wing will be the latest addition to the high school originally built in the 1920s on land donated by New Era farmer George Henry Brown, the “Potato King of Clackamas County.”

“This is an opportunity for us to modernize yet another part of our building,” Dinse said. “We continue to add onto it every few years. This is the latest thing to help us bring modern educational spaces to modern students who are doing some modern learning.”

The new wing, along with the other projects associated with the bond, are the culmination of several years of work and preparation, including a needs assessment of all district facilities and a citizen involvement campaign prior to 2020.

Scott, Dinse and Finance Director Denise Lapp thanked the many school officials, staff members, community members, families and students who contributed to the effort over the years.

Construction on the new wing is expected to span one year, with the facility opening to students in the fall of 2023.

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