January 18, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gresham-Barlow School District holds community forums to get input
on a possible school bond measure
Community members from all walks of life encouraged to attend and share ideas, opinions, and suggestions
The Gresham-Barlow School District is holding a series of forums to get community input on the needs of the district’s school buildings. The Gresham-Barlow School Board has formed an advisory committee that will make a recommendation to the board on a possible school bond proposal. As a part of its work, the committee will review feedback from the community forums.
“Our school buildings are our community’s investment,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “It’s important to hear what community members value when it comes to maintaining the community’s assets.”
Five of the community forums will focus on district-wide needs. All of those forums will feature the same format and information.
On average, district schools are more than 40 years old. Schools need roofs and siding replaced and seismic and security upgrades. The district is also looking to make technology improvements. To raise student achievement, graduation rates, and prepare all students for success, the district is considering upgrades to classrooms used for science, engineering, and math classes.
Three additional forums will focus on schools where significant changes are under consideration: Gresham High School, West Gresham Elementary School and Deep Creek Elementary School. Gresham High School and West Gresham Elementary School are both close to 100 years old and require upgrades to keep them viable for the next generation. The school board is considering closing Damascus Middle School and making Deep Creek Elementary School a K-8 facility due to declining enrollment in Damascus.
“The facility needs we have identified focus on two areas. First, we need to ensure our schools are the types of learning environments required to prepare students to be career and college ready,” said Schlachter. “We also need to take care of building needs that naturally wear out over time such as roofs and electrical and plumbing components.”
During the first part of the forums the district will share information about the needs of its facilities. After a review of key information, participants will have time to ask questions and share their thoughts. The district will share the feedback collected at the forums with the school board and its School Bond Measure Planning Committee.