Oak Harbor Middle School holds open house

"It's not hard to see the changes to the outside of Oak Harbor Middle School. There's a new entry framed with brick columns, new energy-efficient windows and a pitched metal roof instead of a leaky flat one.Now, community members will have a chance to tour the inside of the school during a special community open house and dedication Tuesday, Sept. 12, beginning at 7 p.m.Principal Sue Haworth said the open house will feature a short presentation followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour. Punch and cookies will be provided.About $7 million worth of reconstruction has gone into the school during the last year and an half. It included taking much of the 1959 school buildings down to the framing and starting over.The school's reopening marks another completed phase of the Oak Harbor School District's 5-year, $42 million school construction and renovation plan. The plan was made possible by a $26 million bond passed by local voters in 1996 along with state matching money.Renovation costs for the Oak Harbor Middle School averaged about $84.37 per square foot. The cost of building a brand new school from the ground up averages around $130 per square foot.Students will return to classes in the rebuilt school Thursday and plan to hold their own dedication ceremony in October. Earlier in the week, a few problems remained including a new but non-working telephone system Haworth said. Crews will likely be working up to the last minute making sure all the new systems work on opening day. "

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