At a special meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, the Salem-Keizer School Board voted to accept the recommendations of the Citizens Facilities Task Force, and instructed staff to move forward with a bond feasibility study. Proceeds from the bond would be used to fund improvements needed at schools and district facilities included in the district’s Long Range Facilities Plan.
Over the next few weeks, staff will work with a professional public opinion research firm to perform the feasibility study. The findings of the study will be analyzed and reported to the School Board in late April or early May.
The Long Range Facilities Plan lists improvements needed at all schools and district buildings to relieve crowding and provide capacity for student enrollment growth, enhance safety and security, expand technology infrastructure and more. Enrollment projections show that Salem-Keizer will need capacity for an additional 1,300 high school students in less than 10 years. In addition, it is estimated additional capacity will be needed at 15 elementary schools in less than 10 years.
Examples of work included in the plan:
- High school recommendations include expanding five of the existing comprehensive high schools to serve student enrollments of 2,200 students, and expanding the sixth to serve 2,000 students. This includes replacing end-of-life portable buildings by adding classroom additions; expanding libraries, cafeterias, and gyms; increasing existing Career and Technical Education opportunities; and adding science labs, including chemistry labs, to all high schools.
- Middle school recommendations include replacing end-of-life portables with classroom additions at three schools; expanding libraries, gyms and cafeterias at eight schools; and adding 27 science labs, which will enable the district to offer a full-year of science for middle school students.
- Elementary school recommendations include building a new Auburn Elementary School and repurposing the current facility; and addressing core infrastructure issues such as inadequate cafeterias, gymnasiums, common areas, libraries and end-of-life portables at 22 sites.
- Expanding wireless networks for greater technology equity across the district.
- Enhancing safety and security by relocating or renovating main offices at 34 schools, retrofitting aging electronic badge access systems, upgrading intercom systems, lighting and landscaping.
- Increasing seismic safety by upgrading schools rated high or very-high for collapse in a seismic event.
The total cost of all projects in the plan is estimated to be from $671 to $766 million.
Read more about the Long Range Facilities Plan and the work of the Citizens Facilities Task Force on the Task Force page.