MEDFORD, Ore. – Plans for a third middle school in the Medford School District have reportedly fallen through due to economic uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January of 2020, the district decided to buy Cobblestone Village, a business park near the Rogue Valley Mall. The plan was to move Central Medford High School to the new location and turn the old school into a middle school.
Cobblestone Village was deemed a prime location with ample room for parking and areas perfect for a variety of classrooms and programs. It’s also near where many students already live.
“We could figure out a way to make it work, if we don’t have to do the middle school right now, then we don’t have to buy Cobblestone Village right now, and that’s at least 1 million and a half in savings that we would not have to spend,” said Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Brad Earl.
The plan was to close on the deal in March and start work during the summer. However, on April 3, Superintendent Bret Champion said that due to uncertainty created by the COVID-19 outbreak, the district is backing off plans to buy Cobblestone Village and will not open a third middle school in 2021.
Champion wrote, “Put simply, we are prioritizing students and staff over stuff, and ensuring our finances are as healthy as possible today as we plan for the uncertain economy of tomorrow.”
The district said at this time, it’s best to save money and revise its strategy.
You can view MSD’s press release here .