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School board gives initial nod to real estate study firm

by: REVIEW FILE PHOTO - Former Uplands Elementary School students, from left, John Olsen, 11th grade, Anna Hicks, eighth grade, Kaity Olsen, eighth grade, and Annie Rodgers, seventh grade, help pack up their classrooms in June 2012.The Lake Oswego School Board on Tuesday approved the firm that will perform the district’s real estate study, which will provide property values — information that will help district officials determine which buildings and land to sell to address a budget gap.

The board issued a request for proposals, and New York-based Integra Realty Resources and Portland-based Macadam Forbes Inc. responded. The board unanimously chose IRR, a commercial real estate consultant. The board chose to close three elementary schools in the last couple of years to reduce district costs, and the buildings now are used for other purposes. Whether the district will hold onto those buildings and other structures and land, hinges, in part, on the real estate study.

“I think the only (firm) that addressed what we wanted was the first one,” IRR, said school board member Liz Hartman.

Hartman said the proposal from Macadam Forbes, a commercial real estate brokerage firm serving the Northwest, needed more data analysis.

Macadam Forbes included its commission rates for real estate sales but not an estimated project cost or timeline. Board member Sarah Howell said she is interested in working with the group as a consultant in the future.

The IRR proposal included a timeline with an estimated completion at the end of March and an estimation of its commercial real property appraisers’ services, $65,910. The proposal included a collaboration with BBL Architects at a cost of $24,410 and construction consultant firm Rider Levett Bucknall at a cost of $6,000.

“This team will bring to bear the variety of skills and necessary experience to assist the district in their decision-making process and planning,” IRR’s proposal introduction stated.

The board has not finished the contract negotiations, its Tuesday vote technically is an intent to award a contract to IRR, which has offices in Portland and nationwide.

Selection criteria included experience of key staffers, quality of proposal and potential compensation for the required services. The services are: Determine sale valuations of school properties; determine properties’ expansion capacity, looking at portables and permanent classrooms; estimate essential infrastructure maintenance and repair costs for the short term and long term; assess the cost, feasibility and time necessary to add a new gym at Lake Oswego Junior High; and provide a cost and time estimate to build a new 500-student school, which would provide a comparison for the district’s assessment of its own buildings and land.

“We’re not going out to build a school tomorrow, that’s not really on the agenda, but we really need a data point,” Wendland said at a work session last week.

“It’s not like you open up the Lake Oswego Review, and there’s schools for sale,” he said.

To save money, Palisades Elementary School closed in 2011, followed by Bryant and Uplands elementary schools in 2012. Sixth-graders moved from elementary school to junior high, which previously had seventh- and eighth-graders only.

District officials repurposed Bryant as a home for sixth-graders attending Lakeridge Junior High, which is next door. Lake Oswego Junior High PE classes are held in the Uplands gym. The Lake Oswego rowing club practices at Palisades.

In another matter:

Lake Oswego Police Chief Don Johnson detailed a proposed ordinance prohibiting “unruly gatherings” and imposing penalties on the people who host them. Johnson said the out-of-control parties typically involve 60 to 250 people, usually high school- or college-age youth. He presented the ordinance to the Lake Oswego City Council last week and will bring it before the council again in about a month. The board said it would support the council’s decision, as long as it is in the best interest of children.

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @JillianDaley.



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