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School board looks ahead

WL-WV fills budget committee positions, discusses long-range plans at December meeting


The West Linn-Wilsonville School Board filled three vacant seats on its budget committee and discussed the work of the district’s long-range planning committee during a regular board meeting held Dec. 2.

Two familiar faces, Jeff Hallin and John McCabe, will again take seats on the committee. Each of them has previously served on the budget committee; Hallin also served on the WL-WV School Board.

A third applicant, Kristin Akervall, also was appointed to the five-member board, which is now complete. Each of the three was appointed to a three-year term.

District Director of Operations Tim Woodley and David Lake, a member of the district’s long-range planning committee (LRPC), presented the board with an overview of the LRPC’s recommendations. Describing the presentation as “the final unveiling of all parts of the long-range plan,” Lake asked the board for guidance on its next steps.

The board will address the draft plan in depth at its Dec. 16 work session with the goal of accepting the plan at the next regular board meeting on Jan. 13.

Lake shared information from a demographics study that predicts district enrollment will continue to rise. At the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, the district’s primary schools were operating at 93 percent of capacity, middle schools were at 107 percent and high schools were at 87 percent.

Under one projected growth scenario, primary school enrollment district-wide could rise to 134 percent of capacity, with middle schools reaching 146 percent of capacity and high schools hitting 114 percent of capacity by 2018.

The district has previously identified building a new middle school in Wilsonville as a priority. District-owned land is available for construction on Advance Road in Wilsonville, although funding will depend on the passage of a new capital bond. The district has not yet made a decision on whether to ask voters to approve a new bond. The current bond will end in 2014.

Passed in 2008, the current bond totaled $98 million. The two biggest projects paid for by that bond were the construction of Lowrie Primary School in Wilsonville ($27 million) and Trillium Creek Primary School in West Linn ($28 million). The district also budgeted $15 million for deferred maintenance projects, now referred to as stewardship, and $7 million for district-wide technology upgrades.

Lake briefly discussed the process of recommending capital improvements without providing details of potential projects. Potential capital improvement projects undergo three levels of consideration, he said.

First, the LRPC assesses needs by interviewing school administrators, making site visits and researching each project.

The next step is to solicit public input. Typically, that happens in a “bond summit,” a public meeting where citizens learn about potential capital improvement projects and are able to provide input.

Following a bond summit, the LRPC would identify priorities and make recommendations to the board. At that point, the board would decide whether to seek public approval for a new capital improvement bond.

The LRPC has completed its assessment of needs, and Lake called a bond summit “the logical next step in this process.”

Board Chairman Keith Steele said involving the community with a bond summit was a vital step.

“It’s very important to have that conversation,” he said.

Noting that planning a large public meeting is a complex process, Steele asked Woodley and Lake to move forward with preliminary plans for a bond summit to be held in February.

“That in no way commits us” to holding the summit, however, Steele added.

The school board will meet again Dec. 16 for a work session at the district office, 22210 SW Stafford Road. Because of holiday events throughout the district that evening, the meeting will have a 4:30 p.m. start time rather than the usual time of 7 p.m.

Kate Hoots can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 112. Follow her on Twitter @CommuniKater.



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