The Corvallis School Board has hired a Portland architecture company to evaluate the district’s structures in a $142,000 study.
The study will be used for long-range facilities planning to help with decisions on when to renovate buildings and when to replace them.
After a bidding process, the board at its Monday meeting selected Dull, Olson Weekes – IBI Architects Inc. to perform the studies. The company designed Corvallis High School, which opened in the fall of 2005. Under the contract with the district, the architectural firm’s fees include the costs for hiring subconsultants for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, engineering, structural engineering and cost estimate studies.
The study will examine the district offices and all of its schools, except for Fairplay Elementary School, which is being sold to the Corvallis Waldorf School, and the Muddy Creek Charter School, which is maintained as a part of the district’s charter agreement with the school.
Steve Nielsen, the district’s business director, said at Monday’s meeting that no decision has been made whether to seek a bond to replace any of the district’s buildings. The earliest that the district would seek a bond is November 2016, when the payments on the district’s existing bond are scheduled to be lowered.
Nielsen said that seeking a bond then would enable the district to begin building projects without an increase in the current rate of $1.70 for every $1,000 of assessed property value that is now taxed to repay the district’s construction bonds.
“With the average age of our elementary schools at 45 years,” Nielsen said, “... we know that something is going to have to be done, and right now our general fund and our facilities grants don’t have the funds to do the things we need to do,” he said.
Nielsen said the facilities assessment will be prepared over the summer, presented at the November school board meeting, and the development of their long range plan will begin in 2014.
“This will act as a working document for us for the next four to five years,” he said. “On a daily basis, we will have rock solid information.”