A Bend-La Pine Schools committee charged with looking at facilities and the need for new schools says the district is good to go for the next decade, but after that community growth will likely send buildings beyond capacity.
“There are three elementary schools needed in the 2030’s over that decade, one middle school in 2030, 2036 and a new high school in the year 2040,” said Sites and Facilities Committee Chair Rick Hayes.
The Sites and Facilities Committee feels the district is currently set on existing facilities.
Though there is some concern over the lack of land for future projects that are needed.
“That’s because we just built a brand new high school and it takes a 50 acre site to do that,” said Mike Tiller with the Sites and Facilities Committee. So, in our land inventory we don’t have that 50 acre site.”
With no immediate need for new schools in the next ten years the committee’s focus is on smaller district land use.
A 1-acre parcel next to Silver Rail Elementary, a nearly 2-acre parcel between Summit High and Pacific Crest Middle School and 12-acres north of High Desert Middle School, bring a few ideas to mind.
“Staff will look at options regarding affordable housing, employee housing, collaborating with the park district for field use and then finally the potential with the sale of that property with return to the capital fund,” Hayes said about the 1-acre parcel next to Silver Rail Elementary.
School board member Carrie McPherson Douglass had another idea for small land use.
“Would it be possible to add child care to the committee’s options for consideration,” Douglass asked.
“I think we probably could Carrie, that part of the committee work is done, but we might be able to find a way to make that happen,” responded Tiller.
The committee will submit a final report in June.
You can read the Sites and Facilities Committee report to the school board here:
In a presentation to the school board Tuesday evening, the district’s Sites and Facilities Committee said that while there is adequate capacity within the next 10 years, it “does not have adequate capacity to accommodate the enrollment growth that is forecasted over the 20-year planning horizon.”
The committee said based on Portland State University’s Population Research Center projections for the area, the district likely will need:
- Three new 600-student elementary schools starting as early as 2031-32
- One 800-student middle school by 2036-37
- One 1,500-student high school by 2040-41
“Although it is estimated that the district, overall, will not be able to meet the forecasted enrollment over the 20-year planning horizon, schools in the southern area of the district were found to have adequate capacity, including La Pine Elementary, Roseland Elementary, Three Rivers Elementary, La Pine Middle School, and La Pine High School.”
The district last fall opened Caldera High School on the south side of Bend, the first new high school in more than 20 years.
North Star Elementary School, the district’s newest elementary school, opened on Bend’s north side in 2019.
The newest middle school, Pacific Crest, opened on the district’s west side in the fall of 2015.
Meanwhile, the same committee said the district should consider what to do with some smaller parcels of land it owns adjacent to current buildings – land not large enough for future school considerations.
One of those potential uses: affordable housing for staff.
The committee said that’s one of the options the district should consider for the 1-acre parcel of land next to Silver Rail Elementary School and the 1.95-acre parcel of land between Summit High School and Pacific Crest Middle School.