Ken Bruce, a retired La Grande School District electrician, is urging the school district to use caution if a November bond passes. If the bond passes, the school district plans to build a new Central Elementary School south of the current one. That plan concerns Bruce, who believes moving the school could place students and teachers in harms way because of the flight path of Life Flight. (AMANDA JOHNSON for The Observer)
Former school district employee urges precautions be taken if Central Elementary School relocated
Ken Bruce, a retired La Grande School District electrician, believes there is a lot to like about the $31.85 million bond levy the school district will ask voters to approve in November.
“I like all the things that will help the district’s buildings last longer,” Bruce said. “I also support all of the attempts to improve safety and security.”
Bruce, however, is also concerned. He is urging the school district to exercise caution if the bond is approved by voters in November.
Bruce’s worry involves Central Elementary School, which would be replaced by a new building if the bond passes. The school district’s tentative plan calls for the building to be constructed south of the present one on the Central campus.
The plan concerns Bruce because moving the school to a more southern site would place the school closer to the flight path of the Life Flight air ambulance that transports patients to and from Grande Ronde Hospital, which is just west of Central. Bruce believes this would place Central students at greater risk if a Life Flight helicopter were to go down.
“It would be a mistake to place the building right under the flight path,” Bruce said.
Bruce said this is a potential peril that could be averted with some careful planning.
“I believe it is a risk we should address before it becomes a consequence. We ought to try to minimize the risk proactively,” said Bruce, who worked for the school district from 1988 to 1995 and twice has been a member of the school district’s facilities committee, most recently in 2008.
For the full story, see Monday's issue of The Observer
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