Local News

RSD Considers High School Consolidation Proposal

REDMOND, OR -- Rumors are swirling about future plans for Redmond High School. Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline acknowledges the district is considering a proposal to deal with major renovations needed at the campus on Rimrock Way. 

Dr. Cline tells KBND News water pipes are crumbling in the ceilings, surrounded by asbestos. "Our contractors are telling us to repair that space, we’re going to need to open up that entire area, mitigate all the asbestos, and then replace all that piping," he says, "It’s going to take, they’re estimating, a year of the building being shut down to students for us to do that work. And these are 50-year-old pipes."

There is room at Ridgeview High for RHS students to shift for that year. Cline says the district could save money by making it permanent. A bond committee is considering how to pay for the project, including transferring Redmond High-specific programs, "One of our ideas is about consolidating the high schools. It’s not the only idea, but it’s one of them. What we would do with that is basically, we would go and build a high-tech, career-tech ed center. We would use part of this bond, spend about $25 million, build next to Ridgeview High School." RHS would then be renovated and repurposed for other district needs.

Cline admits the idea is controversial, but notes it's still very early in the discussion process, "After our first meeting, we kind of laid out all the problems. It was clear to us just how much we’re proposing to band-aid things together. So this Ridgeview consolidation idea is really question of, ‘How do we not band-aid things together? How do we actually solve some problems over time?’"

The district will ask for feedback next month, in what Cline calls a scientific poll. Then, the bond committee will decide next steps, "Depending on how it polls, if we were to put it out there, our school board would have to vote on it and say, ‘this is the approach we’d want to take.’" Voters will then get the final say in November 2025. If initial social media reaction is any indication, the community is not supportive of the consolidation idea, "The way people tended to react to it, is we get a lot of emotion up front," says Dr. Cline, "And then they listen to the rationale and the reason and by the time we’re done talking, they go, ‘Oh. Well, that makes sense.’ That doesn’t mean that’s the way people vote, what makes sense. Sometimes people vote on emotion."

School board member Keri Lopez released a statement saying, “Community trust is only built through transparency and inclusion. I am calling on renewing this promise as we move forward.” Lopez is also running for a seat in Oregon's House. 

Tune in Tuesday morning (Dec. 26) at 8:40 a.m. for our full conversation with Superinendent Charan Cline about the upcoming bond and the future of Redmond High. 

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