Categorized | Junction City News

JC schools identify school improvements

Posted on 07 November 2012 by admin

Is replacement of the older schools by way of a bond measure the answer?

The JC School District Facilities Director Chris Meyer reports on upgrades and repairs at the four school campuses during monthly school board meetings to keep the board apprised of facility needs in an aging district.

By Vera Westbrook
For the Tribune

JUNCTION CITY – Without a doubt, Junction City schools are old. The JC School District is currently assessing the condition of its four school campuses and identifying necessary improvements.
The district is taking the following steps to prioritize community facility needs, to be responsive to community input and to maintain the district‘s commitment to being fiscally responsible and prudent.
Made up of local citizens, the Facilities Steering Committee reconvened to review and update the findings of a 2008 facilities assessment conducted by gLAs Architectural. It will also identify necessary improvements and funding sources.
In the coming year, the project will rely on guidance from the steering committee and the community through meetings, questionnaires and phone surveys. The district also hired the Angelo Planning Group for long-range planning.
Below are some facts about local schools that led the district to embark on a facility improvements visioning process.
Of the four schools, the high school is the oldest. The east wing was built in 1934 and the west wing was built in 1958. Major renovations were completed between 1966 and 1995, with a 2011 enrollment of 514 students. The next oldest school is Laurel Elementary built in 1955 with a 2011 enrollment of 519.
Built in 1963, Territorial Elementary is the third oldest school in the district with 116 kids enrolled in 2011, while Oaklea Middle School is the newest, built in 1977 with 524 students in 2011. Some schools are so old that many believe building replacement is a viable option, but it may need community funding.
The last bond measure for upgrading school district facilities was passed in 1994 and fully repaid by 2004. To date, JC School District taxpayers pay one of the lowest property tax rates of any district within Lane and Linn counties, with a permanent total tax rate of $4.56 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Depending on community feedback, a tax levy may be a consideration.
Data from the 2008 facilities assessment listed required improvements as architectural needs such as roofs, windows, cabinets, floors, bathrooms, kitchens and media centers; mechanical needs such as heat pumps, ventilation, plumbing and water heaters; and electrical needs such as interior and exterior lighting, clocks, bells and intercoms.
Improvements identified since 2008 included larger classrooms and specialized technology facilities like computer and science labs.
During the facility evaluation process, the project team plans to provide displays and informational materials at community gathering places around town and at local events. District staff will also distribute announcements to families via e-mail, newsletters and flyers.
The school is requesting community input to prioritize improvements through an online survey at the JC School District website at www.junctioncity.k12.or.us.
For more information, contact Facilities Director Chris Meyer at 541.998.6311 ext. 603 or by email at cmeyer@junctioncity.k12.or.us.

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