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Performing arts center gets name

The Madras Performing ARts Center is under construction on the Madras High School campus.A name was chosen for the new performing arts center being constructed for School District 509-J. It will be called the Madras Performing Arts Center.

The decision was made at the Feb. 13, Thursday night meeting of the 509-J Board of Directors, which was rescheduled from Monday due to the heavy snowfall.

The two choices suggested by a committee were Madras High School Performing Arts Center, and Madras Performing Arts Center, and the latter was recommended.

“Madras Performing Arts Center is more inclusive, and our hope is for this to be used by the public,” commented board member Stan Sullivan.

There are plans to put up an electronic reader board at the corner of the high school property to direct people one way to MHS events, and the other way to PAC events.

Superintendent Rick Molitor reported that the snow had caused some setbacks on district construction projects. But at Warm Springs K-8 Academy, painting of inside classrooms has started and many of the windows have been installed.

On staffing the Warm Springs school, Molitor said a survey was sent to all district staff asking about interest in teaching at the new school, and 163 responses were returned.

“The first or second week of March, we will send out notifications of who will be the Warm Springs staff,” Molitor said.

Tribal member Urbana Ross asked for the board’s permission to give a presentation on the unique cooperation between 509-J and the Warm Springs Confederated Tribes, which allowed Warm Springs K-8 Academy to be built on tribal land, with each party paying half.

The presentation would be at an Oregon Indian Education Association conference at Kah-Nee-Ta, April 9 and 11. She also asked for the board to help sponsor some of the meals to allow more parents and students to attend.

Molitor said the sponsorship funds could come out of the district’s Community Outreach Fund, which is used for meals and activities at school-related events put on for the community.

Board member Sullivan reported that those connected with the Madras High School track program want a higher quality, more durable track surface than the one being built.

Adjustments would require the track to be raised higher as the new material is applied, which will cost an estimated $112,000. However, that money will have to be raised with private funds, since district’s construction funds are already allocated.

During a recent fundraiser, Sullivan said, some $34,000 in funds were pledged by local businesses and individuals, and more donations are being sought.

Options for the district’s property on Loucks Road was discussed. One suggestion was to add five acres of 509-J’s sagebrush land to the urban growth boundary and annex it to the city, and remove its irrigated farmland from the UGB. That would allow the district to build on the property within the city limits, and application for that process could start in July.




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