District 9 selects architect for Hillside Elementary

Eight years and a few days after most of the Eagle Point Junior High School burned to the ground, an architect was finally approved last week by the District 9 Board of Directors for construction of a new elementary school. Virtually the entire administrative team including four business managers, school board,  nearly every school principal and perhaps a partridge in a pear tree has come to the district since that day eight years ago. After endless hopes and dreams and even a lawsuit and destruction of Glenn D. Hale school, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.

BBT Architects out of Bend have been named as the architectural firm. The firm, through a merger with Stevens Architect in 2008, is one of the largest such firms in central Oregon. Together they have been the architects for Cascade Middle School remodel, a new elementary for Redmond School District and an addition to La Pine High School, among others.

There were six architects on the second advertising sequence and from that two were selected by the committee. Those two firms bid was put through a third party check to determine if their cost estimates were accurate and finally the District 9 committee that included Spencer Davenport, Lynn Scott, Ken Gruenwald, David McKay (Willamette ESD and a non-voting member) and Dan Zaklan recommended the Bend firm. The other finalist was the architect from Nevada with the concrete tilt-up plan.

The school will be constructed on the lot behind Little Butte School, which was originally Glenn D. Hale School. It will be built for today’s student population, not for any future growth, although there will be room for expansion. The available funds come from the insurance settlement.

FFA officers, who participated in the In-Service staff day Aug. 30, were recognized as were their instructors, Curtis North and Keith Frost. The students were FFA President Emily Lopez, Vice President Emily Dulaney, Secretary Katie Deupree, Clay DeVette and Shae Rogers.
Supt. Rickert had very positive things to say about the students, noting also that they were the product of great parents.

The board interviewed four applicants for the two positions on the budget committee. Applicants were: Hart Wilson and Mike Hussey, each of whom just completed a term on the committee; Raygina Sizemore, retired Butte Falls educator and former budget committee member and a volunteer at Little Butte; and Lewis Devlin, who had budgeting experience as a food broker and is now retired. The board selected Hussey and Devlin.

The work session was the first under the district’s plan to inform the community and staff about various programs and issues in the budget. Only three of four members of the community were present although the superintendent sent an email  message to “key communicators” about the meeting. All principals were present. The topic discussed was instructional coaches. Dr. Tina Mondale highlighted the program which currently includes 7.5 coaches in District 9. These are the best teachers, according to Supt. Rickert. Funding comes from federal title funds for staff improvement or development. The total cost from those funds for the coming budget year will be $634,621.

During the regular board meeting two of the several instructional coaches talked about their process, specifically addressing reading and math–what they did last year to work with both students and teachers and plans for the school year that just started.

In addition to the votes on budget members, the board voted as follows:

Consent agenda for Sept. 1- 4-1-Board member Jim Mannenbach voted no on the consent issue saying he had listened to the tape and read the hard copy. He said there were untrue statements made at the meeting and the two documents did not match in some areas. Chair Grissom explained the vote was not on whether someone agreed or disagreed on statements but rather whether the minutes reflected the content of the meeting. Mannenbach was not in attendance at the Sept. 1 meeting.

Defibrillator policy- There was discussion at the last board meeting and at this meeting from fire personnel and board members regarding this policy and concern over its elimination. District officials said they wanted to eliminate it for liability reasons; a paramedic said there was a Good Samaritan law. After all the discussion, the board voted 4-1 to eliminate the policy. Mannenbach voted no after listening and doing his own research.

Policies on the requirements for administering medicines, approving the architect were unanimously approved.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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