New SE Bend high school design, new UGB discussed

School board, city council hold rare joint meeting

School District discusses high school design

BEND, Ore. - For the first time in about 10 years, the Bend-La Pine School Board and the Bend City Council held a joint meeting Tuesday evening to discuss issues of mutual interest in the growing area. 

One of the main topics was the preliminary design for the new high school and middle school that will open in 2021 at 15th Street and Knott Road.

The district hired BBT Architects to design the high school, and they said this stage of development is always subject to change. 

They traveled to various high schools and started the design process based on the district's core values. 

As of now, the student commons will be the heart of the school and the main entry point will face east. It will be a two-story building. 

"This is where we really engage with community, staff, students, and other stakeholders in the project," said designer Renee Alexander. "We will talk about needs, because nothing is fixed now and we can dream and push envelopes with whoever is involved."

At this point in the planning process, the school is expected to feature two softball fields, eight tennis courts, three soccer fields and a football field with stadium seating. 

The primary gym will be downstairs and an auxiliary gym will be upstairs. 

The goal is to build a school to last 100 years, while also serving the needs of kids today. 

"It's a beautiful site -- lots of great trees on there, and there is a plateau overlooking the sports fields," said designer Marc Nordean. "The other part is going through and bringing life to the wishes and dreams of not only staff, teachers, and the community, but really the kids. Walking a day in the life of a kid is pretty cool, and trying to see some of those things."

The site drawings could go to a contractor by spring of 2019, meaning construction plans will start in 2020 and the school hopefully will be finished by 2021. 

At this same meeting, the Bend City Council and city staff presented plans for the city's urban growth boundary expansion, approved earlier by the state after years of work. 

Staff members said that by 2030, the population of Bend is expected to grow to around 120,000 people. 

More than 2,300 acres of UGB land will be developed over time, with more than 1,100 acres of that being residential, schools and parks. Another 815 acres are designated as future employment areas. 

City officials said the expansion includes a greater mix of housing types and employment centers, and it avoids prime wildlife habitats. About 62 percent of housing in these areas are expected to be within a half-mile of existing or future schools. 

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