Committee proposes replacement of aging school
Central Elementary School's six-decade old building could be replaced in the near future.
The La Grande School District's Long Term Facilities Committee is including the replacement of Central Elementary School in a package of about $32 million worth of building projects it is proposing. The proposals were presented to the La Grande School Board.
The replacement of Central was the big ticket item of its approximate $32 million package. Central is recommend for replacement by the committee because the school has so many costly repair needs.
"The universal feeling among committee members is that it doesn't make sense to put money into Central," said Joe Justice, a member of the Long Term Facilities Committee and the La Grande School Board.
La Grande Mayor Dan Pokorney, also a member of the facilities committee, is among those who believe the replacement of Central would be a good idea.
"If you build something new it will revitalize the community. Patchwork is not going to work,'' Pokorney said of the proposed replacement of Central.
Central has $3.8 million in repair needs, which includes replacement of its deteriorating roof and renovations to the heating system.
The replacement of Central would cost about $14.6 million.
The facilities committee is not recommending that any other buildings be replaced. However, the committee did point out that about $17.4 million in major renovation and construction work needs to be done to other buildings in the district.
A $32 million bond levy would have to be passed to pay for the proposed renovation and capital construction work. The levy would cost property owners about $1.99 for each $1,000 of their assessed property value, according to facilities committee member Ken Shelton.