New SES building project on track
Last updated 2/2/2022 at Noon
Ground will not likely be broken for the new Sisters Elementary School until early spring, but Superintendent Curt Scholl confirmed that the project is moving forward as expected.
“Yes, the building schedule is ambitious, but we are sticking with the plan to open in the fall of 2023 at the new site,” he said.
The general plans for the K-5 building are largely complete and Scholl hopes to be able to share some drawings and designs with the public in the upcoming weeks.
“We are hoping that when we get what are called the ‘50 percent designs’ done we will be able to make them available for everyone to see,” he said.
Scholl had some good financial news about the money generated by the bond levy. Thanks to the sale of bonds at a premium, the amount available to the district grew from the original $33.8 million to $39.2 million.
“So even though we didn’t get a state grant that we applied for, to go toward the building, the extra $5 million-plus covers what we were hoping to get from the grant,” said Scholl.
The architecture firm for the project, BLRB, which has offices in Tacoma, Spokane, Portland, and Bend has built schools in Gresham, Cottage Grove, and the Portland area, as well as North Star Elementary School in Bend.
When asked about any concerns regarding the supply chain or labor shortages, Scholl indicated that shortage of building materials has improved and that builders are confident they will have the personnel to get things done.
Scholl did concede that money concerns can always pop up and inflation is something that will need to be carefully monitored.
“But regardless of the things we don’t know for sure, the district is extremely excited about this project,” he said. “For us to have all of the schools in close proximity with a brand-new, modern elementary school is something for the entire community to celebrate,” he said.
The site for the new building is on the school property behind the west grandstands of Reed Stadium.
While Scholl fully expects the new building to be ready on time, he acknowledged that it is good to have the current building for use if the schedule gets delayed.
“Our students will have a place to learn one way or another to start the 2023-24 school year,” he said.