In October of 2009, the South Umpqua School District Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) was formed. The FAC was comprised of school board members, District personnel, and community members and given the challenge of evaluating the District’s facilities and devising a preliminary draft of a Comprehensive Facility Needs Assessment.
Together with the architecture firm HGE and numerous engineers, architects, and other professionals, the FAC toured each of the District’s campuses, going through every building, looking at how they were being used, hearing what each campus’s needs were, and looking at each building’s strengths and weaknesses.
By February 2010 all of this study and analysis was compiled into the Comprehensive Facility Needs Assessment. This study provided an advisory plan for the District and its facilities. The plan broke items into three categories for each facility – Immediate Needs, Short Term Needs (2-5 years), and Long Term Needs (5-10 years).
It is now 2016 and very few of the tasks identified as Immediate Needs or Short Term Needs have been completed and we are approaching the timeline for items in the Long Term Needs category. Due to budgetary constraints the District is unable to undertake most of the tasks in the various categories so the backlog of necessary upgrades grows.
Age is one of the greatest weaknesses of the District’s buildings. Of the District’s 24 buildings, only eight are newer than 1973. Four of the eight buildings are modular trailers, one is the Skyhawk multipurpose room, one is the District Office, and one is the Coffenberry gymnasium. The Annex building at Tri-City Elementary is the only newer classroom building. The remaining 16 buildings are all currently anywhere from 50 to 88 years old, with an average age of 68.5 years.
Numerous options were reviewed for each building on every campus including whether it was best to remodel versus replace a given building. Prioritizing maintenance tasks, looking at building consolidations to reduce maintenance and operating costs, studying ways to improve student safety, and trying to find out how best to improve the overall educational environment were all items discussed at length.
Based on the recommendations of the FAC and HGE, combined with input from the public at board work sessions, the school board has developed the following plan for the future of the facilities of South Umpqua School District:
- Construct a new K-8 facility in Canyonville at the old Primary location on Alder Street housing at least 14 regular classrooms, office, library, multipurpose room, cafeteria, gym, and locker rooms.Click here to view the Canyonville Floor Plan and the Canyonville Building Overview
- Construct a new middle school adjacent to the high school housing at least 13 regular classrooms, office, gym, and locker rooms. Click here to view the Middle School Floor Plan and the Middle School building overview
- Construct a new library building adjacent to the high school for use by the new middle school and the high school. Remodel existing high school library and turn it into 4 computer labs. Click here to view the SUHS Floor Plan and the SUHS Building Overview
- Construct a new elementary school in Myrtle Creek adjacent to the existing Coffenberry Gymnasium housing at least 18 regular classrooms, office, library, multipurpose room, and cafeteria. Click here to view the Myrtle Creek Floor Plan and the MCE Building Overview
- Construct a new multipurpose room at Tri-City Elementary to connect the existing main and annex buildings together. Click here to view the TCE Floor Plan and the TCE Building Overview
- Perform various facility upgrades at South Umpqua High School and Tri-City Elementary to improve safety and enhance the learning environment such as fencing, monitored building entries, roof replacement, asbestos removal, plumbing and electrical upgrades, HVAC installations, ADA restroom remodels, and more.
Key Points of the Plan
This plan was built with three guiding principles: 1) student safety; 2) educational opportunities and 3) operational efficiencies.
* New construction allows certain safety components such as single entrance/exit points for an entire school versus multiple buildings with multiple entrances that become difficult to secure if a situation arises. Door lock systems can be ID badge or electronic key controlled making it easier to control who has access to the building and when. Automatic lockdown systems with central controls and secondary escape options for interior classrooms that would be difficult or impossible to build in remodeling situations can also be incorporated.
* Relocation of CV campus places the school in a more secure location.
* Locating CBMS next to the high school gives access to high school programs and staff, increasing elective offerings, and providing access to higher level learning experiences.
* CV school will remain a K-8 which integrates the instructional program across all 9 grades.
* Reduce the number of school buildings from 20 to 6.
* Reduce the overall footprint of the school district by over 5,000 sq ft while going from using roughly 108 acres to 79 acres.
* New buildings will incorporate the latest energy efficiency technology including solar panels, natural lighting, and state of the art HVAC systems.
* Fewer buildings and smaller footprint allows the school district to save money with ongoing operational, maintenance, and groundskeeping costs and allows those dollars to be diverted to the classroom.
State Matching Funds
During the Spring 2015 legislative session, the Oregon Legislature created a facility fund to provide matching grants to districts that passed bond levies. These matching grants are worth a minimum of $4 million and can be as much as $8 million. South Umpqua School District is eligible for $4 million based on the State’s criteria. The School Board voted to use any matching monies received through this program for the additions and improvements at South Umpqua High School and Tri-City Elementary. PLEASE NOTE: these funds are only available to South Umpqua School District if the district passes a bond levy and districts ranked before South Umpqua School District fail in their levy attempts as these are matching funds. The State has only authorized these matching funds for this biennium. There is no guarantee that they will be available after June of 2017.
Performing security upgrades at South Umpqua High School and building the new multipurpose room at Tri-City Elementary are estimated to cost $2,062,125. This would be paid for with the $4 million available from the State with the passage of a bond. The additional needs of South Umpqua High School and Tri-City Elementary would then be prioritized and addressed. There are $4,916,095 in additional needs at the two schools with things like ADA restroom remodels, plumbing and electrical upgrades, HVAC installations, and the like on the list of needs.