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The Corvallis School Board voted Thursday night to authorize $14.6 million worth of contracts with the two architecture firms that will do design work on projects in the district’s $200 million bond.

The vote approved a $10.1 million contract with the DLR Group of Portland to design replacements for Lincoln and Hoover elementary schools as well as design remodels and expansions at the district’s other elementary schools. It also approved a $4.5 million contract with Pivot Architecture of Eugene to design remodels and expansions at the district’s middle and high schools.

In related action, the board also authorized a $255,000 contract with Willamette Valley Planning for land use planning services for bond projects and authorized staff to spend just under $266,000 for new athletic lighting at Corvallis High School’s Taylor Field.

Muddy Creek School 

The board also held a public hearing on the re-authorization of Muddy Creek Charter School’s charter agreement with the district.

In Oregon, public charter schools such as Muddy Creek are required to operate under a contract with a school district. Muddy Creek, which was established in 2008 in the location of the former Inavale School, is up for its second charter renewal.

In its written proposal for the board, Muddy Creek administrators said that the Corvallis School District is allowed to keep a percentage of the funds the state pays for each student enrolled at a school to cover administrative costs for having a charter school. Currently, the administrators said in meeting materials, Muddy Creek gets 80 percent of the funds distributed for 93 students from the Corvallis School District who attend Muddy Creek and 85 percent of the funds distributed for the 17 students who come from outside the district. Since the charter school also doesn’t have some of the other funding sources the district has, such as the district's local option levy, the charter school’s per student funding is about 60 percent of the level in the Corvallis School District.

Around 20 people came out to support Muddy Creek at the meeting, with many asking for a higher percentage of the state funds to be passed through to Muddy Creek.

Bryan Traylor, Muddy Creek’s executive director, told the district that with more funding the school would like to make improvements at its building and increase teachers' pay.

Materials provided by Muddy Creek say its teacher salaries range from around $34,000 to a maximum of just over $44,000. Corvallis School District teacher salaries, by contrast, range from nearly $39,000 to about $75,000.

An Oregon School Boards Association consultant who evaluated Muddy Creek’s fiscal, organizational and academic performance recommended the district renew the charter.

“Muddy Creek Charter School (MCCS) is well-positioned to be renewed by the board. MCCS is compliant with the contract and major provisions of applicable laws and rules, and has strong performance academically, financially, and organizationally. MCCS has substantively met all statutory criteria for renewal,” the consultant's report said.

Vince Adams, the board chair, said the board will consider a vote on renewing the charter at its 6:30 p.m. meeting on Jan. 18 at the Corvallis School District office, 1555 SW 35th St.

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Anthony Rimel covers weekend events, education, courts and crime and can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.

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