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Part I in a series: Looking at why proponents have placed a new school bond measure on the November ballot



DOLE, OLSON, WEEKS ARCHITECTS  - Right now Mulino Elementary School classroom doors all open out to the outdoors. The children must go outdoors to enter and leave the classrooms. An architectural rendering, above, shows what enclosed corridors for Mulino Elementary School would look like, should voters pass Bond Measure 3-504. The proposed enclosed corridor at Mulino is one of several building construction projects that would be funded with the bond money.

It is time for Molalla voters to take another look at a bond measure that would replace or improve many of the school buildings in the Molalla River School District.

Although a bond measure in the May election didn’t pass, the school board will put the question before voters again in November.

And the reason is that since the citizen-led Long Range Planning Committee made the recommendation to replace or improve aging buildings to give kids safer schools and to provide room for Molalla’s growing student population, those needs remain.

The committee believed students in our district need safe buildings and room to grow, and the students still need the same today, said Superintendent Tony Mann.

“The fact remains that two years ago the Long Range Planning Committee made a recommendation to the school board that was based on their assessment of the facts, and those facts have not changed since they made that recommendation.

“And those facts are that Molalla is a community that is growing, and every elementary school classroom space in the district is occupied by teachers and students,” he said. “There are no more open classrooms. And yet, enrollment continues to rise.”

The other key elements of the bond are based on the Long Range Planning Committee’s expectations that our schools operate efficiently,” Mann said. “Frankly, at this point in time the enrollment growth is with our elementary students. We are currently bussing students out of town just to balance out enrollment. The citizens on the Long Range Planning Committee believe that is inefficient. Students who live in town would be better served to attend school in town.”

How the bond measure came about

Bond Measure 3-504 is the result of the Long Range Planning Committee’s recommendation that the district replace or improve the aging buildings. Most are more than 50 years old.

The school board voted to place a bond measure before the voters in November 2016 that would accomplish the following if it passes:

- Constructing and equipping a new middle school next to the high school, on district-owned property, to reduce operating costs and increase career pathway opportunities for students

- Constructing and equipping a new energy efficient elementary school on the current middle school site to address current and future district enrollment growth in the City of Molalla

- Protecting the community’s investment in rural schools -- and the communities they serve -- by replacing roofs and inefficient heating and ventilation systems that potentially could save the district thousands of dollars in annual operating costs

- Significant remodeling of the high school entrance and Mulino South Campus for security purposes.

- Investments in school safety and security by installing access controls and cameras district-wide. In the event of an emergency, the Principal would be able to “lock down” the entire building using smart phone technology.

- School security cameras would have the capacity to instantly link with first responder computers, giving police real time information from cameras in the building.

Molalla High School Safety and Security

If the bond measure passes, it would have a focus on school safety district-wide.

Currently, students, staff, parents and visitors can enter the high school commons through a series of eight glass doors that face the parking lot. The commons area is also the school’s cafeteria, which at any given time could be filled with up to 700 students and staff.

DOLE, OLSON, WEEKS ARCHITECTS  - If the bond measure passes, the district would improve safety and security for the high school commons by remodeling the entrance to the high school, restricting open access to the commons and creating an entrance where access can be more closely controlled.

If the bond measure passes, the district would improve safety and security by remodeling the entrance to the high school, restricting open access to the building and creating an entrance where access can be more closely controlled.

- All visitors would need to sign in, verify their identify and obtain a visitor badge from a staff member

- Open access to the cafeteria/lobby would be eliminated

- In the event of an emergency, the Principal would be able to “lock down” the entire building using smart phone technology.

In coordination with local law enforcement, school security cameras can be instantly linked to the computers in first responder vehicles, giving police the ability to get real time information from cameras located in the building.

Mulino Elementary School Safety and Security

If the bond measure passes, Mulino Elementary South Campus is slated for modifications that would focus on security.

- The exterior hallways would be enclosed allowing students to move between classrooms and restrooms, thus reducing lost instructional time. In the winter, students would no longer have to leave warm classrooms to exit the building to use the restrooms.

- The building would have one exterior entry point equipped with automatic locks that, in the event of an emergency, can be “locked down” using smart phone technology.

- Security cameras would be installed that would allow the building to be monitored from the main office at the North Campus.

- Parents would still have entry to the South Campus, but would be required to sign in, verify their identify and obtain a visitor badge from the main office at the North Campus.

What would it all cost?

If the bond measure passes, property owners moving into the community would pay for the projects through new property taxes that could reduce the share paid by existing property owners.

If the measure passes, an $88.9 million bond would cost a Molalla River property owner an estimated $2.25 per $1000 of assessed value, or approximately $38 per month for a property assessed at $200,000.

For more information regarding the Long-Range Planning Committee’s recommendations,

please visit the district website at HYPERLINK "http://www.molallariv.k12.or.us" www.molallariv.k12.or.us

DOLE, OLSON, WEEKS ARCHITECTS  - The MHS entryway

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