Current Capital Planning
Since 2013 the Hermiston Board of Education has been deliberately studying the facility challenges facing the Hermiston School Community. Although the bond measure in 2008 addressed the district’s three most aged schools, current and future needs were deliberately placed on hold in 2008 in order to minimize tax burden in a time of economic recession.
As outlined in a comprehensive Facility Master Plan Report presented by the Facility Master Planning Committee, significant challenges face the Hermiston Community and district. These challenges were affirmed by the community Citizens’ Review Committee during their five month study and report to the Board of Education. Summarily, the committee’s reports identifies three primary challenges; student growth, aging infrastructure, and safety & security risks.
Student Growth: “Based on modest enrollment growth projections, if a solution for additional permanent capacity is not implemented, it is projected that 56 modular classrooms will be required, where nearly 1100 students would be served in temporary portable facilities within 8 years (FMP Executive Summary, pg. 4).”
Aging Infrastructure: “Despite an outstanding maintenance and upkeep program, aged infrastructure across the district’s three oldest campuses will pose financial hardships over the coming decade. Rocky Heights Elementary School (53 years old), Highland Hills Elementary (35 years old), and Sandstone Middle School (20 years old) are all showing signs of failing core components (FMP Executive Summary, pg. 4).”
Safety & Security Risks: “The district’s newest campuses have provided improved measures to ensure student, staff, and visitor safety. However, both Rocky Heights and Highland Hills elementary schools, due to their design, age, and lack of life-safety alert systems, are inadequate to meet current safety standards (FMP Executive Summary, pg. 4).”
The Board of Education is implementing a five-phase plan(below) to engage the Hermiston community regarding the best possible solutions, which may include a potential capital construction bond tentatively planned for May, 2017.