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Board says little on SHJH plan


January 10, 2018 | View PDF

The Sweet Home School Board gave little feedback on an initial design for the upcoming remodel of the Sweet Home Junior High School.

Chris Walkup, an architect with gLAs Architects, explained the proposed project designed based on input from district staff and officials Monday night at the regular board meeting, providing an opportunity for the board to give feedback.

The community is invited to a public forum at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Sweet Home High School Library to provide feedback and input. An additional forum was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The project, funded by a $4 million bond approved last year by voters and a $4 million matching grant from the state, will remove existing art, Basic Life Skills, cafeteria and storage buildings.

The project will include a new gym and locker rooms south of the existing gym. The administration area and new entrance will fill the front part of the open courtyard at the current entrance, including a locking vestibule to improve security.

The library will be opened up to the hall, and the cafeteria will overlook Husky Field and Sweet Home. The art program will move to the space currently occupied by the school office. Basic Life Skills and a teacher’s lounge will move to the east end and north side of the main hall in the main building.

The roof will gain a slight slope to allow it to drain. The building will have electrical and data line upgrades. Exterior classrooms on the south side will gain larger windows.

Around the school, parents will enter the parking area from 22nd Avenue and exit to Mountain View, while buses will have a dedicated loop entering from and exiting to Mountain View. A service road will run behind the west end of the school, and the football field will move to the bottom of the hill south of Husky Field, allowing for a full-size soccer field.

Board member Jim Gourley expressed concerns that during tournaments, spectators moving between gyms would have to cross the gym along the baseline to reach a door and hall leading to the existing gym.

A small section of bleachers is planned for the south side of the new gym, while the hallway is through the northeast corner. Three other doors, in each other corner, open to the exterior.

Walkup explained that the new gym was a true auxiliary gym early on, but it was just a few feet shy of a full-size basketball court.

“This space has grown a bit,” said Supt. Tom Yahraes. That was based on feedback.

If it becomes more “primary,” then it probably needs more of the amenities of a full-size gym, Walkup said. He and district staff had discussed extending the hallway, but that comes down to a question of allocating funds.

After the public meeting Thursday, Walkup will update the plan and return to the School Board on Jan. 22 for approval. From there, it enters the design development phase, which is scheduled for completion in April, with demolition beginning in late summer.

Construction documents are scheduled for completion by September, and then the district will seek building permits and bids. Bids are due in October, with construction beginning immediately. Substantial completion is expected in September 2019 and complete construction by November 2019.

In other business, the board approved Gerding Builders of Corvallis as the construction manager and general contractor for $1.5 million in seismic upgrades to Hawthorne Elementary School. The project will include a bond-funded locking vestibule and rearrangement of the administration offices.

Griffin Construction of Prineville also submitted a proposal. Business Manager Kevin Strong said both companies would do an excellent job, but based on the information presented, staff recommended Gerding Builders.

Attending the board meeting were Jim Gourley, Chanz Keeney, Jason Redick, Chairman Mike Reynolds, Carol Babcock and Debra Brown. Absent were Jason Van Eck, Angela Clegg and Ben Emmert.


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