District 9 begins to look at options for a new school

School District 9 officials and board members discussed the needs and process for a future school now that the lawsuit has been settled over the junior high school fire four years ago.
   
The $12 million settlement does not allow sufficient funds for the original plan for Hillside Elementary. The March ‘08 cost for the original 58,279 sq. ft. facility to house 600 students was $17.8 million. 
   
With a $12 million budget, the district believes it could build a 43,000 sq. ft. facility to house 400 students.

When Eagle Rock was built, the original plans showed the ability to add
an additional wing of eight classrooms that would accommodate 150 to
200 students.
   
The remains of the old junior high, now
called "Outback," has eight classrooms and a gymnasium for a total of
20,000 sq. ft. At the recent settlement hearing, the estimated cost to
replace the junior high at the Outback site was $12.3 million for an
additional 39,000 sq. ft. with a capacity of 700 students.
   
According
to Jonathan Bilden, District 9 board chair, the district is using this
estimate as a basis for an elementary school for 550 to 600 students.
   
The
goal is to maximize the $12 million. According to the district, Dave
Paradis, who was their attorney for the recent settlement, recommends
considering building on the original junior high site utilizing the
existing building. 
   
After considerable discussion, the
board recommended the district have an engineering study of the current
"Outback" buildings.  From that report, they will enter into discussion
with the city and then begin to make a decision. The goal is start
building in May 2009.
   
The regular board of directors
meeting was primarily focused on the housekeeping items necessary at
the beginning of each fiscal year, along with a number of board policy
revision required by changes in laws.
   
Jean (JR) Rothenberg
was introduced as the new school nurse. She will step into the position
that has been held by Dawn Wille, who is going to work with children at
the Navajo Reservation in Crownpoint, New Mexico for two years.
Rothenberg was an Eagle Point resident for many years and still resides
in the Upper Rogue area.
   
The next work session will be
July 23 at 5 p.m. in the staff development room. Hillside Elementary is
the only item on the agenda.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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