BEND, Ore. - Site preparation is underway at the site of the new high school on the south end of Bend at the corner of Knott Road and 15th Street, and with a construction project approved by the Bend-La Pine School Board Tuesday night, the project is ready to move forward
Crews are busy improving the site and the area around the new high school to accommodate for its impact to the area. One of those projects includes putting in a roundabout at Knott Road and 15th Street.
Construction is set to begin in the fall, with a groundbreaking ceremony slated for Sept. 19.
Superintendent Shay Mikalson said he believes the new high school will greatly benefit the district.
"Our community has supported our schools, and the growth that has been happening for those 30 years," he said. "And frankly it's the foresight of our community, their ongoing support and leadership from community members, not just school members or school board members that have really positioned us well.
"But it's critical, as a public school system, we can only be as great as our public, and we are fortunate that we have the best public support in our schools here in Bend-La Pine," Mikalson added.
According to Bend-La Pine Schools, more than 18,500 students are enrolled in the district's 33 schools for the upcoming school year.
Right now Bend, Mountain View and Summit High Schools are at or over capacity for the coming school year.
The school district approved spending $113,573,771 on the new high school's construction at Tuesday night's board meeting in a contract with Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co. of Bend.
Mikalson said the district has been working on a new high school since 2015. And now with the contract approved, the plan is to have the school completed by the fall of 2021.
"Two years is a pretty aggressive timeline, actually, in terms of construction for a high school," Mikalson said. "But we have had architects and a design team from our school board staff and community working on this plan for over a year, so we are really excited about what is coming out of the ground. in terms of supporting our students."
Bend-La Pine Schools has seen on average 300 more students each year in terms of enrollment.
Mikalson said the new high school will eventually help reduce class sizes.