Neah-Kah-Nie School is looking to invest roughly $1.6 million into their “outdoor classroom.”
By Chelsea Yarnell
“We are in the early planning stages to replace and upgrade the track at the high school,” Superintendent Paul Erlebach wrote in a letter. “This is a project that we knew we would eventually be doing and is now at the point of necessity.”
Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture & Planning has estimated plans for the renovation to range from $1.4 to $3.6 million.
Possible renovations would include resurfacing the track, updating the facilities lighting, and fixing the field’s drainage.
Money for the project will be taken from the School District’s general fund, with no need for a bond.
Erlebach told the Headlight Herald that the School District has been saving for three years with monies coming from their Capital Improvement Plan, which identified the needed improvements in the District, as well as from the Construction Excise Tax and the Small School Grants.
“The school district prides itself on being responsible with public funds,” Erlebach told the Headlight Herald. “It needs to be fixed and we have money to do so. We’re not looking for a luxurious facility, we’re looking for a facility that meets our needs.”
Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture & Planning specializes in track renovations, notably their portfolio includes Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.
“We want to make sure we have an engineering and construction company that’s their specialty.”
The School District will host an open house on April 23 from 9 a.m.-noon at the track to answers questions and let the community examine the needed repairs.
“We feel it’s a community track,” Erlebach said. “We encourage the community to use the resource and will encourage the community more to use the track. $1.6 million is a big investment in the community, we don’t want to limit but increase the [usage].”
The School Board will need to approve the project before moving forward, but the goal completion date for the renovation would be Aug. 2017.
The School District is accepting donations and services dedicated to the project