(Update: Adding video, superintendent comments)
BEND, Ore (KTVZ) --Last fall, Redmond School District voters approved a $27.5 million bond measure, with the goal of improving school facilities and making them safer for the community. The renovations are planned to cover the district’s 13 school facilities.
“For safety concerns, we’ve had several different intercom systems that needed to get replaced," Superintendent Charan Cline told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday. "We’ve added bottle-filling stations at all the different schools, and this was really a response to COVID, because kids were carrying around their water bottles and weren’t really using drinking fountains.”
As far as the bigger projects are concerned, Cline said they require more organizational and financial planning.
“They’ve created what’s called schematic plans at this point, and now they’re working through the (cost) estimation phase," he said.
In preparation for the growing population, the district is planning three large projects, which include building six additional classrooms at both Vern Patrick and Tom McCall elementary schools.
The third project is focused on office remodeling at Obsidian Middle School, to create a more secure entryway for students to enter.
Cline added that there are other projects under bid.
“Hugh Hartman Elementary School, we’re changing the heating and ventilation system," he said.
The siding over at Lynch Elementary is also out for bid. Cline said a lot of the major construction will take place through next summer. Most of the projects are expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2023 school year.
In light of the widespread hiring and staffing shortages and the fluctuating nature of the budgets for the projects, Cline said the timeline shouldn’t be affected. However, he expects prices will be.
“It will drive the price up. You know, materials are more expensive, the labor is more expensive," Cline said.
In explaining the importance of these projects, Cline shared that the renovations honor the community’s investment. He said the community pays for the schools to be well taken care of, and he noted it's the district's responsibility to protect those investments.