News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Elementary school plans on schedule

According to the latest timeline published by the Sisters School District, the new elementary school building will be completed for the opening of the 2023-24 school year.

Last May, voters approved a $33.8 million bond for the construction of the new school and other district projects.

The current elementary school is pressed to capacity, and remodeling the facility was not a viable option, according to Superintendent Curt Scholl. Additionally, Scholl said that the concept of having all three school buildings, along with SPRD, on a consolidated campus has many advantages.

According to the school district website, the new building is part of a master plan developed back in 2016 as the District anticipated the population growth that has indeed taken place. The elementary school is operating at over 100 percent of capacity, requiring the addition of two modular units this summer to accommodate students.

The District believes that the shared campus plan will allow for increased safety, benefits in transportation efficiency, and other operational and educational benefits. In the plan, fifth graders will be added back to the elementary school population.

One of the requirements of a school bond is to have an oversight committee composed of citizens to

help ensure that bond money is spent in the way described to voters when it was approved.

The committee consists of: Kristin Turnquist; Rob Corrigan; Amber Dean; Mark Kelley; Mark Christie. An initial meeting set for October 28 had to be postponed to a date that has yet to be determined.

Superintendent Curt Scholl describes the timeline for completion of the building, which will be near Sisters High School, as “aggressive.”

During the summer, while still in the planning phase for the building, elementary staff members, along with principal Joan Warburg and Scholl himself, made site visits to gather design ideas to be incorporated in the new building. Currently, work is being done on the schematic design for the building in cooperation with the architectural firm BLRB, which has been hired by the District for the project.

Design development will continue through to January and construction is set to begin by July 2022.

Scholl says that the District hopes to have a community feedback session on the initial design in early November.

Related to the building of the new school are the decisions surrounding what to do with the current elementary property, as well as that of the district office. A “Let’s Talk” facilitated by the local group, Citizens4Community (C4C) is expected to take place in November as well.

According to the group’s website, C4C is “a non-partisan and non-political organization dedicated to furthering civility, collaboration, and civic engagement in Sisters Country.” The group facilitates “Let’s Talk” meetings each month.


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