School board discusses changes amid COVID-19
The Lake Oswego School Board received updates on paused bond work and elementary boundaries at the work session Monday, April 13.
Executive Director of Project Management Tony Vandenberg brought new information to the board regarding the renovations at Lake Grove and Forest Hills elementary schools. These projects are part of the 2017 capital improvements bond.
The district received bids last month for capital improvements at both schools that were planned for this summer. Vandenberg said the administration has decided to reject both bids.
"We are going to cancel these two projects for this summer and hold for delivering the projects for next summer," Vandenberg said.
Projects at both schools include deferred maintenance, roofing, and mechanical and electrical improvements as well as technology and structural upgrades.
Vandenberg said the contracting industry has been hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He has received notifications of potential delays on current projects and added that contractors are having a difficult time adjusting to social distancing on certain aspects of the projects. He also said some materials are delayed due to reduced output of the supply chain.
As for potential boundary adjustments, Superintendent Lora de la Cruz said the administration will not make a decision this spring and will instead delay that until next school year.
"My hope is that we could pick the conversation back up fall or winter next year," de la Cruz said.
Board member Sarah Pocklington agreed with that course.
"(It) doesn't quite feel right to be talking about boundary adjustments in a time like this," she said.
School board Chair Rob Wagner echoed the praise given by others to the committee members who worked on the boundary review.
"I would double the comments about thanking parents and staff for all the incredible work and (say) that this is not wasted work," Wagner said. "In my mind I don't see that we're going to need to hit reset; we're leveraging the great work that has happened and pausing for now and using that as what we need to be able to move forward."
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