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RSD Poll Reveals Support For High School Consolidation Proposal

REDMOND, OR -- Results of a recent Redmond School District poll will help shape a $97 million bond planned for the November ballot. "When people hear that this bond is a renewal bond and it’s not going to raise their taxes, we poll at about 56%, in terms of people being in favor of it," says Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline.

He says there also appears to be support for a controversial proposal to fix the failing HVAC system at Redmond High. Around 400 people took part in the survey. They were presented with two options: House RHS students in portable classrooms during the one-year renovation projects, or consolidate students at Ridgeview High. Cline says, "69% of the people preferred bringing the two schools together. I was shocked." He tells KBND News, "I was shocked by this polling result, just because obviously most people have spoken to me about this really being a bad idea." Poll results were presented to the Redmond School Board Wednesday night.

Cline says the consolidation plan would allow for the necessary HVAC and roofing work at RHS, but the district could indefinitely postpone needed renoations of locker rooms and the theater. He says an alternative high school program could then move in to part of the building; the district office would occupy another section. Community space would open in the center. He says that plan would allow the district to sell the Edwin Brown Education Center and current district office building (pictured). "As the leader of the district, I can’t responsibly not put it out there, because I know that we could serve kids better over time for less money, and save the district a considerable amount of operating money over time."

The bond, Cline says, would then pay for construction of an Advanced CTE building at Ridgeview High, "That whole process to build that building will be around $30 million. We have another $60 million of work that needs to get done, including bringing K-8 back to Tumalo, doing some major modifications on Lynch Elementary, xeroscaping around the district, upgrading our heating systems and insulation, that sort of thing. There’s a hundred different small projects that need to get done." Cline adds, "Actually, we have $300 million worth of work we can do in the district. This bond would raise about $97 million. So, we have to narrow down what we’re going to get done."

The district will get more feedback before finalizing the list of bond projects, "We’re scheduling listening sessions with our staff members. We’ll have some open community listening sessions, where people can come in and talk about this stuff. This would be quantitative data we just did; we’ll go after the qualitative data next."

He expects the school board to vote in July to send the bond to the November ballot. 


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