Behind the scenes, the work has been going on for nearly a year.
Next month, a task force charged with examining growth in the district will make its recommendations to the Oregon school board.
It’s a decision that could go a long way in determining how the district looks in the future.
Faced with a student population estimated to rise 50 percent by 2030 from planned developments in Oregon and Fitchburg, the board is taking a long-term look at growth and how to best proceed with any expansion of existing schools or construction of new ones.
The district task force on growth, created by the board in January 2017, has met frequently in the past year as it studied area population trends and capabilities of district schools. The 10-member group includes district administrators, teachers, school board members and residents from Fitchburg, Oregon and Brooklyn. To assist, the district hired urban and regional planner Mark Roffers as a consultant.
The group, directed to come up with recommendations on student enrollment population estimates, long-term capacity of schools and potential areas for new schools, is nearly to that point. Task force and board member Courtney Odorico told the board Monday night the group has narrowed down options for a recommendation and has begun “fine-tuning” a report for the board’s vision/steering committee meeting on Jan. 31. She encouraged all board members to attend.
“There will be a lot of important information coming from the task force,” Odorico said.
At that meeting, committee and task force members will work on a presentation to give “on the breadth of what we’ve got” to the entire board at its Feb. 12 meeting. Board president Steve Zach asked the group to figure out the important points to bring out for the board meeting.
“It’s going to be critical to review the entirety of it, not only with ourselves as a board who’s going to have to make a decision on it, but to start bringing those topics before the public,” he said.
Zach credited the task force for their work in the past year.
“You guys have done an amazing job with this, and the amount of data that’s been assembled and the critical thinking that’s gone in developing options for the district for the next 25-30 years is amazing,” he said. “I’m excited to get this out to the public so they can see how much work behind the scenes has gone into planning for the future.”