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Woodburn School District facilities supervisor reflects on the major improvements as the projects from the 2015 bond wind down.

COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Aerial photo of Woodburn High School showing the new CTE addition in the center.Woodburn School District Facilities Supervisor Ivan Leigh had the task of inspecting sidewalks before reopening Killian Spring Drive near Nellie Muir Elementary School on Thursday morning.

Given the scope and extent of all projects undertaken and completed over the past half-decade, the Dec. 16 task near Nellie Muir was a snap by comparison.

Leigh has a bounty of photographs — before shots, after shots, aerial views — a video and a good sense of accomplishment as projects funded through the $65 million bond passed by Woodburn voters in May 2015 wind down toward the end.

Of course, the end is just the beginning of something new.

"We are now working on developing our next 10-year plan for the facilities," Leigh confided. "Basically, you have to reload. You can't just sit around."

But end-of-the-year scenarios are normally good times to reflect, and Leigh was able to do some of that. The bond projects were only part of the district's facilities boom of recent years as another $20 million or so came through the state, Measure 98 funding, which paved the way for more significant improvement projects within the same timeline.

Associated with bond work, the district eliminated 22 modular classrooms, added two new gyms, remodeled two kitchens, added secure vestibules, and upgraded the communication infrastructure, including wireless connectivity. Additional spaces were remodeled to accommodate a more comfortable flow in shared spaces — particularly in cafeterias. We upgraded fire-life-safety systems, installed environmental control tools and additional parking. A new roof for Heritage Valor and the Heritage Annex was also installed.

"Every project had some similar components," Leight said. "All schools received secure vestibules in the fall (with) car access.

"We also put in a new turf field and weight room at the high school and seismic upgrades at Lincoln, and Washington, along with a new CTE wing at the high school and two-story classroom addition. There was about $20 million worth, in addition to the bond. Measure 98 funds that took care of that, but the work happened during the bond period."

The school district is thankful for the community support in seeing to it all happening.

"On behalf of our students and staff, we thank the Woodburn community for the support it's demonstrated through the school bond," WSD Superintendent Juan Larios said. "The old modular classrooms are gone and in their place are beautiful new facilities where all students can be motivated, empowered, and prepared to succeed.

"In the past five years, we've seen the bond provide additional spaces for students, major repairs and maintenance to our schools, including improvements to security and technology systems."

Larios said the district is making a point of being good stewards of the public resources made available.

"The Woodburn School District recently completed a successfully advanced refunding of the twenty year bonds. The District was able to capitalize on favorable market conditions and lower interest rates to refund the bonds. This means that Woodburn taxpayers will realize a present value of property tax savings of over $5 million spanning the remaining life of the bonds."

Larios added that Woodburn tax payers will begin to see these savings in 2030.

COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Aerial photo of Woodburn High School showing the new artificial-turn playing field.

Bond accomplishments

Woodburn School District reports that it's wrapping up the district's bond projects from the $65 million approved by voters in 2015. A few items related to landscaping will be completed in the spring. Below is recap of key elements completed at each location.

Lincoln Elementary

Secure vestibule

Expanded access control entrance points

Expanded kitchen and cafeteria space

Two-story addition (13 classrooms, four breakout spaces)

Outside and covered play space

Nellie Muir Elementary

Secure vestibule

Covered play

New gym

Kitchen upgraded

Expanded access control entrance points

Two Story addition included (four extra classrooms than previously scoped). Possible because of bids coming lower than expected. (18 classrooms, four breakout spaces)

Heritage Elementary

Annex (six classrooms, four breakout spaces)

Four additional classrooms were added to the Annex

Media center remodeled allowing better use

Secure vestibule

Valor Middle School

Secure vestibule

Two-story addition (11 classrooms, two breakout spaces)

Improved student flow

Media center remodeled

Washington Elementary

Secure Vestibule

Two Story addition (14 classrooms, three breakout spaces)

Covered play area added

Expanded parking

New kitchen

Converted old gym space to the cafeteria

New Gym

Success High School

An entire new school

French Prairie Middle

Remolded old district office space to include a new

Media center

Two additional maker spaces added

Replaced multipurpose room flooring

Woodburn High School

Sprinkler system added

Fire-damaged space was restored. Band and choir programs brought back into the main building

Non-bond projects completed in the same timeline

CTE and classroom project

Removed 11 modular units (saving the district just over 180,000 per year)

A portion of the previously burned-out space was recaptured.

New wood and metal shop

Classrooms dedicated to

Career and Technical Education

Science

Total of 14 classrooms and one breakout space

Girl's softball re-configured and upgraded to meet title IX compliance.

Additional parking re-claimed


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