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The Corvallis School District held a community information session Tuesday night to discuss its plans for replacing Lincoln Elementary School.

Approximately 50 residents turned out for the event, co-hosted by Ward 2 Councilor Charles Maughan and Ward 3’s Hyatt Lytle. The evening also included a presentation on emergency preparedness from Dave Busby of the Corvallis Fire Department.

Kim Patten, director of facilities and management, began the session with an overview of the project, which is being paid for by a $200 million bond measure passed by district voters in May 2018. A question-and-answer session followed, along with time for participants to view plans for the new school and discuss them with architects and consultants hired by the district.

The new Lincoln will be a two-story structure oriented toward the Viewmont Avenue portion of the property. One of the key goals of the replacement process is to keep students safer by keeping them as far from Highway 99W as possible.

A new parking lot will help provide a safety buffer, with the design also including a one-way drop-off route along the east side of the property and a 12-foot-wide path for students to use both for exercise and for getting around the campus.

Patten also announced that the Benton County Health Department plans to replace its health center at Lincoln with a new building. The design process is underway, Patten said, with the county still working on funding.

The tennis courts on the northeast portion of the property will have to be relocated, with district officials saying they hope to work with the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department on an alternate location in South Corvallis.

Here is a look at subjects Patten and Superintendent Ryan Noss discussed with participants:

• The school will have solar panels, but there is no decision yet on whether the roof system will be set up to collect rainwater.

• Bathrooms will be structured in a way that guarantees privacy, safety and security, Noss said, noting that individual stalls will have doors and locks plus walls that go from the floor to the ceiling. Noss said there will be staff supervisors on hand “who will be making sure the kids wash their hands.”

• Participants and the district officials also noted things over which they have little control, such as the speed limits that the Oregon Department of Transportation mandates for Highway 99.

• Noss said that Lincoln, which will be built to the latest seismic safety standards, likely will serve as an emergency shelter should such an action be required.

“We want this to be your school,” Noss said. “And we want to be sure we’re thoughtful.”

Noss also requested that residents provide “feedback on both sides. We heard some excitement here, but things you have questions about we want to hear about as well.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2020, with classes that fall remaining in the old building while the new one is built. The old Lincoln will be demolished once the new school is ready, tentatively for the fall of 2021.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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