Stories of 2019

Big projects end, begin

One massive project in Fitchburg was wrapping up as the year came to a close, while two others were just hitting their stride.

As we look back on our stories of the year in 2019 and ahead to our stories to watch for next year, we saw construction as a consistent theme, and that didn’t even include the $190 million Promega R&D building.

There was also some terrible news (a murder), plenty of conflict (development plans, a protested firing) and flooding that seems to get worse every year.

The end of construction on Verona Road – for the most part – was a huge relief to drivers, particularly after an aggravating summer and fall in which several other roads were also compromised. Now, with an overpass skipping over McKee Road and an underpass beneath Williamsburg Way, we can all relax a bit. That is until the Fish Hatchery Road reconstruction – now split over two years – drives us all crazy again.

Another major project is just as exciting to some people, if not more so – the new elementary school. The opening of Forest Edge Elementary in fall 2020 creates new attendance boundaries in the Oregon School District, meaning most people in Fitchburg will actually be able to send their kids to a school in Fitchburg.

Also this year, there was the the exhaustive process of creating new attendance boundaries at Verona schools with the new high school creating a cascade of changes.

Other notable stories included the first term of Fitchburg’s fourth mayor in five years, a new fire station serving the north and east side of the city and the first grocery store in a decade in the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood.