A new building for Pioneer Secondary Alternative High School
With the growth of Steins Pillar Elementary, and the needs of the current Pioneer Secondary Alternative High School, the latter will be relocating to a location on the Crook County High School property.
The property, previously purchased by the Crook County School District, will accommodate a new structure, made possible with ESSER funds — which is federal money from the stimulus packages during the pandemic.
Crook County School District Superintendent, Dr. Sara Johnson, commented at the Dec. 13 school board meeting that there were real benefits of relocating the Pioneer Secondary Alternative High School to the new location on the east side of the Crook County High School. First, the move will allow Pioneer students to have greater access to Career and Technical Education Programs (CTE) at CCHS.
"There are some great programs over here that we just cannot duplicate in two places, so they will work together to make sure that students get access to CTE," she said.
Second, Dr. Johnson stated that the Pioneer students need their own identity, which was also indicated in recent surveys elicited by the school district.
"The relocation will give them a building of their own that they are not sharing with four other programs, and we originally could just offer them that building alone, but we really can't do that anymore."
She added that having the students from Pioneer school in the new location provides better administrative support, including better access to counselors.
The current building that houses the students from Pioneer Secondary Alternative High School will accommodate the growth and changes at Steins Pillar Elementary. Dr. Johnson added that they had also polled parents about the direction of the elementary school, including the potential to add sixth through eighth grades.
"It was limited enough to where we didn't feel like that is the direction that our clientele is wanting right now. The (upper) grades would go on over to Crook County Middle School."
She went on to say, "The growth will happen at Steins Pillar, and we also have Grizzly Mountain Home Link that is serving approximately 250 students, and they need space as well. By relocating Pioneer High School to the property adjacent to the current high school, we then empower the district to go ahead and make that space that is in Pioneer South available for elementary classrooms. We think that is going to hold us for a while, and serve our students for a while, and the district has done a lot of really good work there, so those facilities are in great shape."
CCSD school board vice chair Doug Smith commented at the meeting that the district is up 131 elementary students since last year, counting the home school program.
The land on the east side of the high school is located behind the agriculture department greenhouses. Arranged in an "L" shape, the land is behind and adjacent to the greenhouses. The entrance and access to the new building will face Lynn Boulevard.
"There will be a parking lot/pick-up, drop off area in the front of the building, and buses will use the same entrance they are currently using," explained CCSD Maintenance Director, Leland Bliss of the traffic pattern for the new building.
He added that there will be six classrooms, with the ability to add two more classrooms as needed on the area adjacent to Lynn Boulevard. There will be offices in the front of the building, with full stall, separate, shared sets of restrooms, with shared sinks for the restrooms.
"Right now, we are in the process of actually getting the building started in production," added Bliss.
Bliss indicated that they are continuing to work on the contract with the builder, and will soon be ready to begin production. As soon as the contract is completed, the site work can begin. The building will be constructed off site, and then placed in several parts on the property. The anticipated date for placing the building is May or June, and hopefully ready to occupy by middle of August.
CCSD school board chair, Scott Cooper asked at the board meeting about the exterior — which he said looked very plain — and how they can make it aesthetically pleasing. Bliss replied that it will resemble the high school exterior, with the same color paint, and that the roof will be the same color, except with composition roofing.
Renderings and formal plans were not yet available at press time.
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