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School Board approves bond proposal for May election

Posted on: January 23, 2017

The School Board unanimously voted to send a $159 million bond measure to voters in the May 16, 2017, election.

The measure would:

  • Make upgrades and improvements, including replacing roofs, siding, windows, plumbing, electrical systems in schools around the District.
  • Make energy improvements, including replacing old, inefficient high maintenance heating/ventilation systems, doors, which would save energy costs.
  • Make safety/security upgrades, including automatic door locks, fire alarms, security cameras to improve the safety of students.
  • Make seismic upgrades to enable buildings to better withstand earthquakes.
  • Renovate and/or add classroom space to support vocational/technical classes for all district middle school buildings.
  • Renovate and add classrooms and a cafeteria at Oak Grove Elementary School; purchase property and construct a new elementary school in NE Albany to address growing enrollment and reduce overcrowding.
  • Complete the first phase of West Albany High School’s rebuild that would include new classrooms, commons, auditorium, cafeteria and administrative space; and multipurpose space for vocational/technical education and gymnasium uses at South Albany High School.

The bond proposal is the result of a more than two-year process to identify facility needs in the District. The projects were reviewed by architects and recommended by a community-based District Facilities Advisory Committee (DFAC) that was made up of community members, parents and staff members.

DFAC initially identified more than $250 million in facility needs. This proposal represents the School Board’s priority to balance the most critical needs and the cost to taxpayers. This bond proposal is expected to increase taxes by an estimated $.64 per $1,000 of assessed property value because the 2006 bond is expiring.

For more information, read the resolution and explanatory statement. 

Find more information on the bond information page.

Architectural design unveiled for new elementary school

Posted on: September 18, 2017

Last week, architects and District staff shared information about the new elementary school new Timber Ridge. The new school is part of the May bond measure that was approved by voters.

The building design is complete, but many features are still in the development stage.

 Overview of New Elementary

Opening in September 2019: 16-month construction timeline; groundbreaking planned for spring 2018

Currently designed for grades K-3.

Designed for maximum flexibility: Design will allow capacity of 600 students by adding additional four classrooms later if necessary for growth. Area is expected to continue growing.

Architectural design drawings

Bus volunteers ride along to help elementary students

Posted on: September 15, 2017

Young students who are learning the ropes in the new school year are getting support from older students, who are riding along on bus routes to ease anxiety and help the students find their way home.

For the first three weeks of school, Timber Ridge students in teacher Shay Brunson’s leadership class are catching a bus to Clover Ridge Elementary School and riding along to help make the route run smoother.

Eight students in seventh and eighth grades currently participate as part of volunteer club in the class. They are Emily Hobson, Tyger DeBolt, Ruby Shumaker, Aaliyah Ware, Abby Hobson, Alex Brunson, Maddilyn Neely and Laura Lovell.

The program, now in its second year, is a hit with the student volunteers, the K-2 students they assist and the bus drivers.

The volunteer riders agreed that the first day was challenging, but the ride is smoother now. Route 6 bus driver, Diane, said she would love to keep her student volunteer all year. “I would love it,” said Abby, a seventh grader. She said she will be back to volunteer again on Diane’s bus next year.

Air Quality Information

Posted on: September 5, 2017

Wildfires around the state have affected air quality in our region. Conditions are not expected to improve this week, and the National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality alert through Friday.

We are watching for air quality updates and will announce any changes to school activities and programs based on recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority guidelines for outdoor activities and the Oregon School Activities Association.

Decisions on school closures will be made in consultation with the Linn County Health Department.

If you have questions, check with your school. Find more information:

Air quality index chart

Watch for school buses starting next Tuesday

Posted on: September 1, 2017

Tuesday, Sept. 5, is the first day of school for students in Greater Albany schools, and about a third of them travel there by school bus.

Last year, GAPS yellow buses traveled more than 959,000 miles, carrying a daily average of 3,600 kids each way on 37 general education routes and 18 special education routes. That number doesn’t include field trips and transportation for school activities, which totaled an estimated 50,000 miles in 1,256 trips.

It’s a large transportation system that requires careful planning to make the buses run on time.

This year, extra attention and planning was needed to adjust schedules for efficiency for the new bell time system. Each bus covers three routes for morning and afternoon runs. Combined with a finite number of buses and drivers, the routes have to be exact to ensure best coverage of our geographically large district.

Watch for our buses this Tuesday and please be extra attentive in the mornings and afternoons when you see them on the roads. District bus drivers would like to remind drivers to slow down and watch for kids as they walk to or from the bus.

Transportation resources for parents include:

Thank you, GAPS bus drivers!

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