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Program expansions, security are priority; construction of third-option high school on schedule

The West Linn-Wilsonville School District recently shared construction updates about improved security in schools and revamped learning environments for high school students.

Construction for the third-option high school set to open its doors in 2023-24 in the current Athey Creek Middle School building continues to be on schedule. The district emphasizes that the remodel and opening of the additional school will not impact the timeline of Athey Creek Middle School on Dollar Street.

After numerous planning sessions, the district said it will continue its efforts to expand career and technical education programs within key areas high schoolers have shown interest in. The proposed improvements for the learning program will target the arts, engineering, health sciences, business and construction.

In a letter to community members, Superintendent Kathy Ludwig confirmed Wilsonville High School's progress in building a new performing arts center. Construction on the auditorium is set to break ground this year and the building should be open to the public in fall 2023.

Constructing safe and secure entryways in new and existing schools is one of the priorities the district wants to tackle with the $206 million capital bond.

The entryways are designed to filter community members who wish to enter West Linn and Wilsonville schools. Visitors who enter a building with the updated entryway must walk through a secure foyer, which will route all guests to enter the school directly through the front offices and only allow access to the building with staff approval.

Safe and secure entryways also include a system that allows the school to lock or unlock all perimeter doors of the building with a key fob.

"A safe and secure entryway in our district means one secure entry point for all individuals during the school day," said Andrew Kilstrom, the district's communications director. The remodel of entrances will allow schools to restrict unwanted visitors and minimize risk.

Intrusion-limiting glass also will be incorporated in the design of the new entryways.

In early October, Willamette Primary School in West Linn introduced its new secure entrance to the public, modeling updates that soon will be available to other schools in the district. In the next couple of weeks, safe and secure entryways are set to be completed at Inza Wood Middle School in Wilsonville and the existing Athey Creek Middle School in West Linn.

All entryways will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The district will update doorways, spacing and pathways to schools to improve accessibility for all students, families and community members.

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