Jefferson schools to seek bond in May

2010-07-02T13:15:00Z Jefferson schools to seek bond in MayBy Jennifer Moody, Albany Democrat-Herald Albany Democrat Herald

JEFFERSON — Voters in the Jefferson School District will be asked next May to support a bond measure to build a new middle school and make repairs to the district’s other buildings.

The measure is not yet ready to go, but the district is looking at “about $10 million,” Superintendent Kent Klewitz said.

Earlier this spring, the Jefferson School Board agreed to spend $25,000 to have Boora Architects Inc. of Portland put together designs. The district’s facilities committee will meet in August to start work on the bond itself.

Built in the early 1950s, the existing middle school building at 1344 N. Second St. is not holding up well over time, Klewitz said.

Ceilings leak and the central heating system isn’t very efficient, he said. Floors have no moisture barriers, which leads to tile and carpet coming unstuck. Pipes run straight through the concrete floor, which means leaks can’t be fixed.

The district would like to keep the school’s gymnasium — “Gyms are a precious commodity in a community,” Klewitz said — but construct classrooms, office space and another gym elsewhere. What would happen to old classrooms and offices has not yet been decided.

Right now, the idea is to build on property adjacent to Jefferson High School’s 2200 Talbot Road address, so the two buildings could share facilities.

Jefferson Elementary School is several decades older than Jefferson Middle, and for some time, talks touched on a bond for a new elementary school instead. But in 2007, the district commissioned an extensive facilities overview that actually indicated the elementary school is in better shape, Klewitz said.

In another decade, that school likely will need replacing, too, he added, but right now, the need is at the middle school.

“We’re trying to be sensitive to the limits of the community,” he said.

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