MEDFORD, Ore. — Central Medford High School may be moving to a new location. The Medford School District voted Thursday night to approve the purchase of the Cobblestone Village near the Rogue Valley Mall.
The school district is very excited about this new opportunity. With Central Medford High being a small alternative school with 250 students, the location is in a prime area with plenty of potentials.
“Starting in July we were like OK we need to find a place for Central possibly for the district offices,” said Natalie Hurd, spokesperson for the Medford School District. “That’s when we started to look and that search really picked up steam in the fall.”
Hurd says the school was looking to move Central and the district offices to make room for a new middle school. Some elementary schools in the district are feeling growing pains with classes becoming increasingly crowded. The idea is if Central is moved to this new location, the current school on Oakdale Avenue can be turned in a third middle school for the incoming classes.
“By adding a middle school, moving sixth-graders into middle school cause they’re currently at the elementary schools, we’re going to open up several classrooms at each of our elementary schools,” said Hurd.
Fortunately for the district, the village was put up for sale by owners in December. The school acted quickly and allocated $3 million in reserve funds for the property. Plans are to renovate the existing structures and adjust what is currently there.
“I’m really excited to be able to look at our new property and design it to really meet all of our programs and all the needs of our students,” said Amy Herbst, principal of Central Medford High.
The area is deemed a prime location with ample room for parking and areas perfect for a variety of classes and programs the school offers. Herbst says the location is also great because it is located right near neighborhoods where some of their students live.
“We’re just excited to be really in a central location because Central Medford High School serves both kids who come from the north side of town and kids who come from the south side of town and the space is ideal,” said Hurd.
The deal still isn’t finished though. The district is currently in a due diligence period to make sure everything is in working order. It also wants to be respectful to the dozens of businesses still on the property.
But the plan is to close the deal in March and begin work by summer.
Hurd says the earliest the new location for Central Medford could open is spring 2020. The school is working on finding an interim space for the students to use during that time.
The district says the new middle school will open in the fall of 2021. That’s when the redistricting NBC5 News first told you about in October will occur.
The district is holding a public meeting next Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. at the district offices for parents to come be a part of the discussion.