BEND, Ore. - (Update: Adding projects and plans at other schools, secure lobbies)
The site for Bend's new elementary school was announced at a school board meeting Tuesday afternoon. It will be on the north end of town, at the corner of O.B. Riley and Cooley roads.
The school will be built on about 10 to 12 acres and will accommodate 600 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. About 130 parking spaces are planned, so people won't park on either busy roadway.
District officials said they needed about 10 acres of land to build the school, but they also wanted to place it in an area of the greatest need.
The principal architect, Michael Gorman, said classrooms will be arranged in a way to create more transparency. Basically, six classrooms, or "pods," will be built around a common area, creating an alternative educational space.
"A teacher can be in the classroom and actually see students inside the area ,and you might have some kids that are behind or ahead and working on special projects," Gorman said. "You want to have that visibility and transparency so they can supervise those kids."
Schools are more than places of learning, Gorman noted: "You are building something that is going to have such a huge impact on the children of the community, as well as the community, because the school always becomes a hub of the surrounding neighborhoods."
Gorman said the district is in the design and development phase for the school. The site cost the district about $100,000 an acre.
The school district bought the land from Kendall Brownrigg and her family. They said the district approached them about six months ago about selling it.
Brownrigg said her parents have lived on the property since 1970 and have been in Bend since 1965.
She also said it was her mother's decision to sell the land to the district, as she did not have any other future development plans for it. Brownrigg said the decision to sell the land for this purpose felt good to her mother.
"Education was really important to my father, and we just lost him over a year ago, so for this to be on our property means a lot to us," Brownrigg said. "We couldn't have a better use for this property, and we are really excited."
Brownrigg said her mother was very excited about the idea when the district first approached them.
The district hopes to break ground by next April and have the school completed and open by the end of 2019.
The school district issued a news release Wednesday on the new school site, as well as the new high school site and work planned at other schools:
During the Nov. 14 meeting of the school board, Bend-La Pine Schools Director of Facilities, Mike Tiller, announced the proposed location for Bend-La Pine Schools’ newest elementary school site. Tiller shared that the district has entered into an agreement in principle with the owner for a property near OB Riley and Cooley roads in north central Bend.
“The location will help to balance enrollment where overcrowding issues are the greatest,” said Tiller. “Currently, more than half of the district’s elementary schools in Bend are near or over capacity, due to continuous enrollment growth.”
The new 600-student elementary school is slated to open as soon as the fall of 2019 and will have a similar design to Bend’s Silver Rail Elementary School, which opened in 2015.
New large high school location identified
Planning is underway for a new large high school in southeast Bend, slated to open as soon as the fall of 2021. The new high school would be located at the corner of SE 15th Street and Knott Road in southeast Bend, thanks to a proposed land swap. Schematic design for the building has begun.
Other 2017 construction bond updates
Pilot Butte Middle School
In October, architects completed schematic designs for a schoolwide modernization of instructional spaces and safety improvements throughout the school. Construction on Building E is slated to begin as soon as the spring of 2018. Construction on Buildings A and F will begin during the summer of 2018. The schoolwide projects are slated to take place over the course of the next the three years and to be complete in 2021.
Marshall High School
In October, architects completed designs for the addition of two new classrooms and a multi-purpose room that will allow for a variety of programming including physical education, music and both small and large group activities. Construction is slated to begin this spring and is expected to be complete in early 2019. The 70-year-old school will also receive safety improvements and modernization of HVAC controls.
Secure School Lobby Design
Design is slated to be complete by the end of 2017 for secure school lobbies at High Lakes Elementary School, Lava Ridge Elementary School, Pine Ridge Elementary School, Ponderosa Elementary School, Sky View Middle School, Summit High School, Westside Village Magnet at Kingston School and William E. Miller Elementary School. Construction on those projects will take place over the course of the next two years.
About the 2017 Construction Bond
In May 2017, voters in Bend, La Pine and Sunriver approved a construction bond that authorized Bend-La Pine Schools to sell $268.3 million in bonds to fund the construction of two new schools and 150 safety, maintenance and classroom addition projects. These projects will address continued enrollment growth, protect our community’s investment in its schools, support economic growth and go far to protect our quality of life now and for future generations.
Learn more about the 2017 construction bond on our bond webpage.