EUGENE, Ore. - Walking around Howard Elementary School in north Eugene, Principal Allan Chinn can't help but point out its problems.
"You can look around and see these kind of retrofits, this is a bunch of electrical that's had to be rewired here." Chinn said, pointing to the ceiling.
The elementary has small hallways, limited technology hookups and classrooms that have few windows (if any). Chinn said that these are just some of the issues the school is faced with.
"It's kinda been puzzled together over a number of years. Though the 1960's was the last time we actually had a new addition," Chinn said. "To be a 21st century school ... it was not built with that intention."
Built in 1949, Howard Elementary is one of many buildings across the Eugene 4J School District that were built over 50 years ago. With an ever changing learning and technology environment, some schools have now fallen behind the times in the education process.
"Many are in pretty poor condition," said Eugene 4J's Kerry Delf. "We're looking at what we need to do over the next several years to improve those school buildings."
Eugene 4J built Bertha Holt Elementary across town in 2004. The Bertha Holt building is what 4J considers a model for learning in the 21st century.
"The impact when people visit is this feeling of largeness and spaciousness," said Principal Kevin Boling.
The school is equipped with state of the art equipment and technology and was designed to have classrooms with large windows.
"There's a lot of creativity that went into this." Boling said. "The school was designed with the idea that in 30 years from now, when are are undeniable other changes, that we can make that easily."
Delf said the district is hosting a series of community forums to get input on what the public thinks should be done with some of 4J's aging schools.
"Wanting to get some input about what our top priority should be, how the public thinks we should proceed," said Delf.
Last school year, the district brought in a consultant to evaluate the state of each school building.
"The consultant recommended making changes in all four areas of the district," said Delf. "Build six new school buildings to replace eight current schools and to completely renovate one school building."
Delf said no decisions or plans for the future of the buildings are set yet.
The first community forum will be held Thursday, September 27 from 7 to 8:30 pm at Chavez Elementary School in Eugene.
Visit the Eugene 4J website to find out more about other upcoming forums.