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Repairing Hermiston Schools

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HERMISTON, Ore. -- Hermiston School District leaders say many of their schools are in dire need of a makeover. Some of the problems came up because the school's were old, others because of faulty designs. But fortunately for the district, changes seem to be in the works.

Cecilia Medina is just one 1st grader , who in a recent survey, said noise was a big problem at Rocky Heights Elementary.

The reason, principal B.J. Wilson, says the noise has to do with temporary walls that end about a foot and a half from the ceiling. In the 1960s,  open classrooms held multiple classes but also a lot of noise. The temporary walls were meant as a solution, but that didn't work.

Wilson says, "The noise levels have increased as our student numbers have increased. Hermiston has grown a lot in the last few years."

Now, because of the student survey, Rocky Heights has become a high priority in the district.    Wilson says the plan is to put some sort of extension or sound proof matrial on the temporary walls, by July. But, Rocky Heights is not the only problem.

Armande Larive Middle School was built in 1936 almost entirely on a sound bed. Over time, parts of the building sunk, creating uneven floors at some parts of the school. That is just one of the reasons that Armande Larive will soon be replaced.

Hermiston Facilities Director Brian Romeike says, "The life of the entire infrastructure is outdated, constantly having major mechanical difficulties, plumbing difficulties and so on."