School board updated on boundary committee, pool project
The elementary boundary review and the district pool were two major items covered at a busy Lake Oswego School Board meeting Dec. 16.
Superintendent Lora de la Cruz said the board likes to begin their business meetings by having someone in the district share something worthy of celebration. Tony Vandenberg, executive director of project managment, revealed to the board that the library in the new Lakeridge Middle School will be dedicated to Alter Weiner, a late Holocaust survivor and prominent member of the community.
Weiner, a Hillsboro resident, worked with Lakeridge High School student Claire Sarnowski to push for a Holocaust education bill that was signed earlier this year.
Vandenberg said they've harvested trees from the building site to form columns inside the newly built library.
He presented some design ideas for ways students could be involved in the dedication. Ideas included adorning the columns with peace notes and origami peace doves. Vandenberg asked the board members for their thoughts.
Board member Sara Pocklington said, "I just think this is incredible … I think at the core of what we're trying to achieve here is recognition and honoring of all that Alter gave to our district and the students that have come through and this is a beautiful representation of that."
During her superintendent's update, de la Cruz shared that she has been going to each school to touch base with the principals about the equity goals each of them set at the start of the school year.
She said, "It really brings to light the incredible consciousness we have in our school district and every school to be sure we're doing the right thing for each and every child."
Director of Communications Mary Kay Larson and McKay Larrabee from FLO Analytics shared details with the board about the elementary boundary review Springboard proposal. They noted that they have finalized committee charges and guiding principles. The Elementary Boundary Review Committee has been formed and will have their first meeting Jan. 8. They will meet once a week to work through suggested boundaries.
The committee consists of each elementary school principal and two parents from each school. Two secondary parents — one from the north side and one from the south — will also serve on the committee to provide perspective.
"We made sure that the committee as a whole represented our school district," Larson said.
Vandenberg and Larson also brought an update on the pool per the board's request at the last meeting for further specifics.
They noted that a decision on the design, site and funding needs to be made by spring of 2020 in order to fulfil the promise in the 2017 bond.
Larson said as they narrow down their options, they must be sure to make the choice that is the most equitable and responsible use of funds.
The pool options presented for consideration were to repair the existing pool at Lake Oswego High School, build a new stretch 25-yard, 12-lane pool at Lakeridge Middle School, or build a new stretch 25-yard, 12-lane pool and community center on the Lake Oswego Municipal Golf Course site with a partnership from the City.
If the third option were chosen, the district would use the $7 million allocated bond dollars, along with $8 million from bond premium and a possible $15 million from a partnership with the City to fund the pool.
Representatives from the district presented the pool options to the Lake Oswego City Council Tuesday (see story on A1).
Amy Spurr, a Lake Oswego resident and frequent pool user, gave public testimony on the project She said she was there on behalf of 400 families who could not be present.
"Since the community engagement meeting the design process has accelerated to met short term deadlines but the pool user community, even the coaches of the two high school teams, have not been engaged," Spurr said.
She continued, "We respectfully ask that you reject the proposal and recommence the board's commitment to the 50-meter pool. This isn't a reach for the community and it doesn't have to be cost prohibitive. The pool user community asks for a working session with the board and administration to discuss how our groups can provide real input into this process as partners in the design, funding and operational planning."
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