$14 MILLION SOUGHT FOR SCHOOLS
September 01, 2000 11:00 pm

The audience applauded Wednesday after the Brookings-Harbor School Board voted unanimously to put a $14 million building proposal on the November general election ballot.

The decision came a year after a citizens committee started studying what should be included in the proposal. The committees recommendation was modified after analysis by architects and consultation with school principals.

The program is based on the committees suggestion that classrooms be given top priority. As explained by Larry Anderson, vice chairman of the committee, the classrooms proposed meet immediate needs. If there is accelerated district growth, additional rooms could be needed. But that growth is not expected.

The core facilities, such as new cafeterias at all three schools, are planned for 20 years of use. Anderson explained that it is easy to add classrooms, but not as easy to expand a cafeteria or gym. A small gym is planned as part of the bond-financed work at the elementary school.

The board required a detailed building program before it would adopt it and go to the voters. Dr. Brian Larsson, the chairman, made it clear that the district should deal openly and honestly with the voters on what is planned, and then should do the work that is promised.

The deliberate approach of the board caused the approval to come only days before the law-required Sept. 5 deadline.

Dr. Paul Prevenas, district superintendent, drove to Gold Beach Thursday and filed the ballot proposal with Julie Denney, the countys election clerk.

The $14 million includes $1 million to be used for heavy maintenance on the school buildings.

Anderson asked if some of this money should be diverted for use in remodeling work that has been proposed to come from the districts operating funds. About half of this $600,000 in work is proposed for the high school. It would be used to create classrooms by remodeling existing facilities.

Dr. Prevenas said there are other sources of funding for this work, including selling the house now used for kindergarten classes. It is located across the street from the football field. With the additional remodeling and construction at Kalmiopsis Elementary, the kindergartens can all be taught at the school.

Another source of revenue is the interest that would be earned by investing the bond funds before they are spent for construction. He said some districts count this as a source of revenue, but this district has not.

Anderson seemed to be satisfied with Prevenas explanation. The superintendent said the district has been spending $100,000 to $200,000 a year on building improvements. He said this additional work would be cycled in after the new buildings had been built. This would give the district additional time to do the work, he said.

A number of speakers, including some of the school board members, praised the architects for their work. The boards decision came after architect Richard Bryant of Eugene briefed it on what is planned in the $14 million.

Bryant used large charts to give his briefing. The charts were left for use by a newly forming committee that will work for the passage of the bonds. Larry Aslinger and Frank Cembellin, who served on the citizens committee, are leading the bond campaign committee.

Generally, the proposed plan would:

Kalmiopsis Elementary. It would create two classrooms out of the current library, crated another two classrooms in the current cafeteria, construct six new classrooms, a music room, new cafeteria and small gymnasium.

Azalea Middle School. It would create two classrooms in the current cafeteria, build a covered walk to the library and cafeteria, expand the library, construct a new cafeteria, new restrooms and two new classrooms.

High school. Build a cafeteria closer to the school, meaning the students will not need an expensive covered walkway for protection from the rain. With the schools master plan, and positioning of a gym not included in the bond, the school will gain 30 parking spaces. As planned preliminarily, the high school would have lost parking spaces, which are in short supply.

The bonds will pay for a new cafeteria, a covered area or commons for the students, new vocational classrooms and remodeling of shop classrooms. Although details have not been worked out, the middle school pupils will jointly use some of the shop facilities.

Some of the high school work to be completed by the district is conversion of the current home economic room into a science lab, conversion of the current cafeteria into a home economic room, retain cafeteria kitchen for instruction, creation of a vocational -tech classroom.

Before voting their approval, the school board members questioned principals Floyd Strandberg of the high school, Sue Musser of the middle school, and Chris McKay of the elementary school on their view of the plan. They all said they were satisfied with it.

The plan includes 35,000 square feet of new construction. In addition, there will be a substantial amount of remodeled space. Tom Davis, who made the motion for the district to proceed, asked that the total square footage be computed, and be used when explaining the proposal to the voters.

This will be the third time the district has gone to the voters with a building proposal. Two previous proposals were defeated by big margins.