IMBLER EYES SCHOOL OPTIONS

December 04, 2001 11:00 pm
EIGHTY-NINE YEARS OF CLASSES AND RECESS: Students in Beccy Kramer's fifth-grade class play four-square ball Tuesday in front of Imbler Elementary School's main building. The structure was built in 1912. (The Observer/DICK MASON).
EIGHTY-NINE YEARS OF CLASSES AND RECESS: Students in Beccy Kramer's fifth-grade class play four-square ball Tuesday in front of Imbler Elementary School's main building. The structure was built in 1912. (The Observer/DICK MASON).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

Universal Pictures began producing movies in 1912.

That was also the year that Imblers main grade school building was constructed.

Today Universal Pictures continues to make successful movies. Imblers primary grade school building though is like film from a 1912 silent movie fragile at best.

There are cracks in the schools foundation, its library floor is weak, roof work is needed, its windows need to be replaced, its heating system is inadequate and there are many more problems.

The Imbler School Board is examining the options of renovating the elementary school, constructing a new school or not doing anything major.

The cost of fully renovating the school would far exceed the expense of constructing a new school, according to a report prepared by RSS Architecture of Woodburn

The report indicated it would cost about $6.5 million to fully renovate the building. This work not only would strengthen the building but also allow it to meet handicapped accessibility and building codes.

By comparison the cost of constructing a new school would be between $3.5 and $4 million.

The Imbler School Board is considering the renovation project or building a new school. The board will decide whether to seriously pursue one of these options when it meets Tuesday. The session starts at 7 p.m. in room 1 of the high school.

A bond levy would have to be passed by school district voters before Imbler could conduct extensive renovation work or build a new school. Extensive input would be taken from the public before a bond levy would be requested, said Imbler School Superintendent Larry Glaze.

We will give it careful consideration before we arrive at a conclusion, Glaze said.

Although it would be less expensive to build a new school, it is possible that Imbler patrons may support renovation over constructing a new building.

Historically, it is an important piece of local history. A lot of people have a sentimental connection; they have fond memories of going to school there, Glaze said.

Glaze noted that a woman recently told him that a relative put a penny in the buildings foundation when it was constructed. The woman said that if the building is ever taken down she wants to be there.

Should a new school be built, it would cost less to operate. One reason is Imbler Elementarys boiler heating system is antiquated and inefficient, Glaze said. The boiler heating system also causes problems because it is not easy to regulate.

It is not easy to moderate the heat, Glaze said. It is either too hot or too cold.

Imbler Elementary School consists of three buildings:

The 1912 building that has classrooms for students in grades 4-6, a library, computer lab, art room and cafeteria. The building housed the high and elementary school until 1977. The high school moved out in 1977 when Imblers present high school building was completed

A wing constructed in 1954. The section has classrooms for students in kindergarten through third grade plus the elementary schools office.

Wade Hall, the schools gym which was built about 70 years ago.

Imbler Elementary School has 153 students. Should a new school be built, it likely would have a capacity of 175 students, Glaze said, to accommodate future growth.