PORTLAND, Ore. – Many families in Southeast Portland learned to live without their local school for more than three years.
Friday night, they learned what it was like to have it back.
Families got to preview what’s in store for students Monday morning, when school bells will ring at the new Marysville School for the first time in three years.
“I feel like I’m home,” said Diana Christianson, who’s worked at Marysville for 22 years.
In 2009, a fire ripped through the school, destroying much of the building. Firefighters were never able to figure out how it started.
Most students had to take a five-mile bus ride to the old Rose City Park School.
In 2011, Portland Public Schools decided to rebuild and upgrade the Marysville campus.
Monday, Marysville students will be back where they belong.
“I think it’s important to the kids,” said Christianson. “They feel an attachment to the building, the teachers and the community.”
Donnie Wilson was in third grade when the fire forced her to flee. She said she’s dreamed of returning to her school for three years. Monday she will resume her classes as a sixth grader.
“This is my old classroom in third grade,” she said as she toured the new hallways.
She’s returning to a building that’s changed – A new library, new gym and a new sprinkler system that wasn’t there before the fire gutted the building.
“Every building new and old should be updated and have a sprinkler system,” said Amber Wilson, Donnie’s mother.
Amber Wilson said her favorite part about the new building is the location: Just a block and a half away from home.
“I miss walking her to school,” said Wilson. “It’s where Marysville is meant to be. Not five miles away.”
From the KATU Archives - November, 2009