One school district considers local election a “win”

PHOENIX, Ore. – Monday night, 54% of residents in the Phoenix-Talent School District voted “yes” for a bond measure to improve schools. With the passage of Measure 15-171, $68 million dollars will be used to upgrade facilities.

“I am tickled to death, said Phoenix High School Principal Don Rugraff. “These are exciting times for the high school and community.

“At the high school it means a lot because it’s going to be a new building. A lot of this building will be taken down.”

The good news for the school couldn’t have come at a better time. Phoenix High school has a laundry list of repairs. Rugraff explained, “First of all ADA is a big need for us in this building. Security is a big issue, the HVAC system, everything tied to energy, there’s nothing energy efficient here. Our classrooms like our art and science, they need updating it’s been quite a while.”

Another concern for Rugraff is adding more sunlight. Right now, only 12 classrooms have natural sunlight. He said, “Everything else is on the inside of the building because when they did the renovation and expanding they built out.”

Currently, about 700 students attend the school. But Rugraff said he expects that number to change after the renovation is complete. “We expect to grow quite a bit here in the next ten years.”

The next step is to draw out the designs for the project. That’s expected to take about a year.

After that, students should be in the new school by 2020, with all construction done in 2021.

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