Members of the Citizens Facilities Task Force held their first meeting on Monday, November 28, 2016. The twenty members of the Task Force were appointed by Superintendent Christy Perry, and represent a cross-section of citizens from the Salem and Keizer communities.

At the meeting, the group reviewed the structure and purpose of the Task Force and received an overview of the draft Long Range Facilities Plan. Lisa Harnish, executive director of Early Learning Hub, and Mark Shipman, attorney with Saalfeld Griggs PC, were announced as Task Force co-chairs.

The goal of the Task Force is to review and comment on the list of facility needs included in the draft plan, and to make a recommendation to the School Board on how to fund the plan.

Highlights of the draft plan include:

  • Five of the district’s six high schools are currently near or over capacity.
  • Additional capacity will be needed at fifteen elementary schools over the next ten years.
  • Sixty percent of the district’s current portable classrooms will be between 20-36 years old within the next ten years. Many of these portables are already past their expected 20-year life-span.
  • The addition of portables to address classroom space needs over the years has put pressure on school facility infrastructure and shared spaces, such as gymnasiums, cafeterias and libraries.
  • Several support and administrative facilities have become less functional due to lack of office space, meeting rooms and production areas.
  • Seismic upgrades, safety and security, educational technology, and Career and Technical Education facility needs.

The draft Long Range Facilities Plan is based on assessments performed at each school and support facility in the district, interviews with school principals about the educational adequacy of their buildings, and population growth projections from the Portland State University Population Research Center.

Citizens Facilities Task Force meetings are open to the public; however public testimony is not taken. A calendar of future meetings will be developed based on input received from members at the first meeting.

For more information about the Citizens Facilities Task Force, please contact Mary Paulson, chief of staff, at 503-399-3000.