Originally Posted The Nugget News August 16, 2016
Author Steve Kadel
Sisters High School track and tennis athletes won’t be suiting up until next spring, but their sports are already getting a big boost this summer.
A new running surface for the track and new tennis courts are under construction. They’re the first projects to begin using funding from the $10.7 million bond measure voters approved in May.
Superintendent Curt Scholl said trees have been cleared from a site for the tennis courts. Final surfacing is scheduled to be done in the next week.
The track construction will allow the Outlaws track and field teams to once again host meets, which hasn’t been possible due to frost heaves and tree root upheavals that branded the track as condemned. Workers with heavy equipment continued rounding the track into shape August 9.
The track will be sufficiently completed for Sisters High School to play its home football game September 2. Todd Grimes, of Beynon Sports Surfaces, the company installing the track surface, said final work on the oval will be done during the following three weeks when Sisters’ football team is on the road.
Beynon is the company that installed the track at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
“We have quality guys on the ground,” Grimes said.
The district also will receive $4 million this fall in state matching money. Scholl said he hopes that amount – coupled with the bond – will allow the district to complete its entire list of needed maintenance and safety upgrades.
“Safety and security is a high priority,” he said.
Director of Operations Ryan Stock agreed, saying, “Security is a big one with the district. And the list includes a lot of deferred maintenance.”
The safety and security aspect of the bond package will cost about $2.7 million. It includes security cameras, door and lock upgrades, more visible entries to buildings, and automated access controls.
In addition to the new track and tennis courts, a $3.4 million component of the bond includes making the football stadium safe and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The bond work also features $3.2 million for site improvements at all three schools to reduce operating costs. An estimated 50 projects are part of that work, with Robinson & Owen Heavy Construction Inc. of Sisters doing many of the upgrades.
The district will use $1.27 million of the bond to pay off its full faith and credit obligation, allowing it to avoid making six annual payments of $240,000.
Although the bulk of renovation work is weeks ahead, Scholl and the school board are busy with other bond-related tasks. Requests for proposals for various projects are being sent out, and the district is recruiting an engineer and architect.
Brett Hudson has been named project manager and will oversee all aspects of construction. His salary is being paid with bond funds, Scholl said.
Oversight will also be the job of a citizens committee convened to monitor the work.
“Then, if the community has questions, we can run it through them,” Scholl said of the committee. “It’s good to have another set of eyes on the bond.”
The superintendent expressed appreciation for bond support. He said Sisters School District is fortunate to have an older population of residents who understand the importance of public education.
“We are very excited about the opportunities this bond gives us, and we’re thankful to the community,” Scholl said.