News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Elementary school to become rec center

Sisters School District (SSD) and Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) have announced that they intend to develop a partnership that will repurpose the current elementary school site into a community recreation center once the new elementary school opens.

In a prepared release, the districts noted that, "While hurdles remain, the two organizations are slated to sign a letter of intent outlining the scope of a long-term lease for the site by the end of April."

Prior to signing a lease agreement, SPRD will conduct a feasibility study of the site to understand what will be needed to transition the site to a multiuse recreation facility. This study is scheduled to be completed by the end of June. Pending the outcome of the study and the renewal of SPRD's local option levy in May, SSD and SPRD plan to have a long-term lease agreement in place by the end of August, with a targeted move-in date of summer 2024.

"On multiple occasions, the community has told us that a much-needed community center is its preferred option for repurposing the existing elementary school building. The School Board shares that vision as part of this site's future and believes that SPRD is the logical choice to make that vision a reality," said Sisters School Board Chair David Thorsett.

"SSD and SPRD have a long-standing tradition of partnership. Working together, we brought the community a skatepark, a growing youth athletics program, and so much more. We are lucky to have such a great relationship with our local school district and are excited for the future!" said SPRD Board President Peggy Tehan.

A larger community recreation center would allow SPRD to combine current operations under one roof while also allowing for future growth. Currently, SPRD operates out of the Coffield Center, which it owns, and the Education and Recreation Annex, leased from Sisters Community Church. Part of the new agreement will include the future use of the Coffield Center, which will be managed by the school district. SPRD will maintain responsibility for the Hyzer Pines Disc Golf Course, the skate park, and Bike Park 242.

Both organizations say they are committed to engaging the community for input on transition plans, including what types of programs and services will be offered at the new community recreation center.

For more information, contact Jennifer Holland at [email protected].


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