The Dalles HS facilities overdue for overhaul, bond measure for new school slated for Nov. ballot
THE DALLES, Ore. (KPTV) - The Dalles High School has been a staple in the community for generations, but many said its current facilities are long overdue for major upgrades.
A bond measure is slated for the November ballot that would fund a new high school, as well as repairs to the existing site for district use.
Everywhere on campus, the wear and tear outside and inside of the facilities is visible, and district officials said the needs go far beyond cosmetic, and many are, in fact, critical.
“This high school was built in the early 1940s,” Jose Aparicio, Director, North Wasco County School Board (NWCSD) School Board, said.
As the number of memories grew in the more than 80 years, The Dalles High School has been in its East 10th Street location. so have the problems.
Principal Kurt Evans said the main building isn’t set up with a heating, ventilations and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
“Sometimes been sweltering. I can’t remember how hot it got when we closed school, but we have done that before,” Evans said.
Some issues are considered inefficiencies.
“This is the original 1941 boiler,” Evans said. “The expense to run this is pretty astronomical.”
While other problems are critical.
“This is underneath the floor of the auditorium,” Evans said. “That’s literally to keep the floor from caving in. So, that’s what had to be done a few years ago.”
Another major issue is the lack of accessibility.
“So, if you are in need of a lift to get to the second floor, you have to come outside and go up this ramp over here,” Evans said. “The person has to come in here, and open this door, and the person in the wheelchair is able to go into the lift.”
Jose Aparicio, a director on the North Wasco County school board, said the board voted during a meeting this June to move forward with a $140 million dollar bond package to build a new high school.
The bond will be placed on the Nov. 7 ballot.
“We will be receiving $4 million from the state. So, in total we will have $144 million towards this new high school on the Wahtonka site, as well as the re-purposing of this facility for our centralized district operations,” Aparicio said.
District officials said they’re hopeful they’ll be able to better serve future generations of Riverhawks.
“At the end of the day, it’s not really about a building. It’s about, we as a community, showing our kids that they’re worth the investment this new facility will bring,” Aparicio said.
For more information regarding the bond, visit the district’s website here.
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