Fern Ridge Middle School:
After nine weeks of construction, the project is taking shape and on track for the students return on September 8th. With most of the drywall work behind us, and the paint and ceiling work progressing, the school is starting to look like what the final product will be. The creation of the media center will enhance the students learning environment, while moving the administration area to the front of the building will increase safety, building functionality, and add new look to the main entry. All summer school projects have hurdles to overcome, and the general contractor, John Hyland Construction, has met these challenges head on and kept us on schedule.
Veneta Elementary School:
Veneta Elementary is undergoing a large renovation and addition project that will last until the winter break. There have been challenges to face for LCG Pence, the general contractor, but they have been met with the experience and knowledge we have come to expect. The largest hurdle was an unforeseen condition where the new commons will be built, where it appeared that reminisce of an old fire had been buried. Now excavated and back on track, the commons footings are beginning to take shape. On the other side of the school, the new 7 classroom wing is moving forward, as the new CMU walls are being erected. Inside the existing building, the remodel to the administration area and library are starting to see their finishes of paint and ceilings, and are on schedule to be ready for opening day.
Elmira Elementary School:
Since making the decision to move the new building out the footprint of the existing school, the design team has been busy making the necessary improvements to alter the project from a partial renovation, to a standalone building. The new site location in the southwest corner of the property has been selected, and construction of the site and utilities is slated to begin late summer/early fall of this year, with construction of the new building by fall/winter 2016. The most significant aspect of the new plan is that there is no impact to student safety or learning during construction, since the existing building will remain intact until construction of the new is complete.
Elmira High School:
The new auxiliary gymnasium and Title IX improvements for the high school are still in the conceptual design phase. With construction slated to begin summer of 2016, this project has the most development work of them all to get through. Locations for where the gym should be built, the entrance to the school and the improvements to the girl’s locker and team rooms are still in the design phase. We look forward to seeing how these designs develop and making information available as this project grows.
Thursday, August 6th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. will be Fall Sports registration night at Elmira High School. If your student is participating in Football, Volleyball, X-Country, Cheer, or Boys/Girls Soccer, please plan on attending. Athletes need a current physical on file on the OSAA form (within the last 2 years), paperwork (including insurance information), and $125.00 sport registration fee. All paperwork must be completed prior to Friday, August 14th to be eligible to participate on the first day of practices, Monday, August 17th.
The District leadership and school leadership has been looking at how best to increase instructional hours at the elementary level. We worked with the Transportation Department to ensure that the transportation of students from both the elementary schools, and the middle and high schools would work.
Additionally, the elementary staff had asked to have professional learning communities, or staff collaboration time on Wednesdays as the middle school and high school did in the 2014-2015 school year. There have been many changes in education, and many things the state is asking of us that are new. Staff needs time to implement changes and learn new things. They need time to meet with educational assistants to plan for the students as well. Therefore, this has also necessitated schedule changes.
We are pushing the start of the middle school to a later time, and having them get out later as well. This is for two reasons: teen brains need to sleep in later in the morning and the transportation time issues.
Therefore the times for the elementary and middle schools beginning with the 2015-2016 school year are as follows:
Elementary School Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 7:55 AM – 2:25 PM Wednesday – 7:55 AM – 12:45 PM
Middle School Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 8:45 AM – 3:04 PM Wednesday – 8:45 AM – 1:25 PM
The start of summer has signaled a huge amount of work throughout the Fern Ridge School District, thanks to the $26.7 million bond measure approved by voters in May 2014. Below are some of the projects now underway:
Veneta Elementary School is undergoing a transformation focused on safety and meeting needs due to growth. Classrooms are being added to the north side of the building and a new commons and kitchen are being added adjacent to the gymnasium. Getting out of remote portables, separating the bus loop from the parking lot, enclosing the library, and reconfiguring the office to face the street will also improve safety at the school.
Fern Ridge Middle School is undergoing an interior transformation as areas inside of the building are being reconfigured to better meet the needs of students and programs. The main office is being relocated to the west side of the building and will face the parking lot to provide better supervision and security, and the classrooms being displaced by this move are being relocated to where the main office used to be. In addition, the library will be enclosed to create a more suitable environment for learning.
For more information about bond activities, click here.
All children and youth ages 2-18 are welcome to come and have a free meal at the FOOD for Lane County’s Summer Food Program sites. Designated sites in the Fern Ridge area are: Veneta City Park, 25192 Broadway, Veneta – 6/22/15-8/21/15 and Elmira Open Bible Church, 88899 Territorial Road, Elmira – 7/20/15-7/24/15 only. For more detailed information please click here.
A ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction at Veneta Elementary School will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at 12:30 pm. The building’s contractor, architects, elected officials, staff and students will help mark the start of construction. After the dirt has been ceremonially turned, the big equipment will be ready to move in and start construction of the renovations and new additions.
The District’s number one goal during construction is to maintain the safety of the public, students, staff, and the construction crews. As such, the building’s contractor will have dedicated access to the north portion of the property and the south portion of the parking lot starting June 15th. Temporary chain link fence will be installed in those areas to prevent any interaction between construction traffic and non-construction traffic. The south portion of the parking lot will be turned back over to the District prior to school starting in September, but the north portion of the property will remain closed until the classroom addition is completed in December.
Each year US News and World Report puts out an article that ranks the nations top High Schools. A few years back, EHS made the list and earned a silver medal. The list of 2014 schools just came out and 28 Oregon High Schools made the list. Once again, EHS has made the cut, ranking as the 24th High School in the state of Oregon. For perspective, we are also the highest ranking 4A school on the list, and one of only two Lane County schools on the Oregon list (with the other being South Eugene). Thanks to all the teachers, staff, parents, students, and volunteers that make this possible. Go Falcons!
A public meeting of the Budget Committee of the Fern Ridge School District 28J, Lane County, State of Oregon, to discuss the budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, will be held at the District Administration Office at 88834 Territorial Rd in Elmira, Oregon. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to receive the budget message and to receive comments from the public on the budget. This is a public meeting where deliberation of the Budget Committee will take place. Any person may appear at the meeting and discuss the proposed programs with the Budget Committee. A copy of the budget document may be inspected or obtained on or after May 13, 2015 at the District Administration Office, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
May 3-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week. I have been astounded at the passion, commitment and compassion of our teachers throughout the District. They care so deeply for their students and go the extra mile trying to meet all of the separate needs of each one. We are fortunate to have such caring individuals working with our students. I honor the work they do on a daily basis, and appreciate each and everyone of our teachers. – Dr. Sally Storm, Superintendent
To Fern Ridge Community Members and Staff:
We have some very exciting news we want to share with parents and patrons of Fern Ridge School District. The news concerns an improvement in our bond project at Elmira Elementary School.
We are holding an informational meeting at Elmira Elementary School on Tuesday, April 28th at 6:30 p.m. Our Construction Project Manager, Lee Zumwalt, from LCG Pence Construction, and our Owner’s Representative, Rick Rainone, from Cornerstone Management Group will be on hand to share the good news. We hope you will be able to attend!
– Sally J. Storm, Ph.D., Superintendent and FRSD Board of Directors