CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- The Central Point school district finalized the purchase of new property from Asante today.
According to district superintendent, Samantha Steele, the district has seen consistent growth over the past five years, with no signs of stopping.
"Our three in-town elementary schools are bursting at the seams. The Asante property would allow us to create an early learning center and serve, initially, students in kindergarten and first grade from each of our in-town elementary schools and long-term potentially a preschool as well," said Steele.
Steele says that in order to truly address the needs of the district they will have to pass a bond, possibly in 2019.
"We want to make sure that, that bond is truly affordable for taxpayers and we are trying to leverage the resources we have and to make decisions, financial decisions, that are prudent and will ultimately result in great value both in a bond and for our tax dollars," explained Steele.
By purchasing the new property from Asante, the school district is hoping to safe tax payers money.
"Some things about building a school facility are very, very expensive. Things like parking lots, landscaping; a lot of the infrastructure exists in this Asante property and therefore will make it much more economical and a better value to turn into a school," said Steele, "It makes good economic sense to purchase that property now and remodel it. The estimates for a building a brand new elementary school are, you know, in excess of $30 million. We know it will be significantly less to purchase an existing property and remodel that into a school."
The district has begun looking at possible funding options, "We have a facilities committee that’s been studying our existing facilities, our demographics, and our growth. We will look at a plan that makes sense financially for the district and it may include starting with a pilot program of the Early Learning Center and then remodeling as the result of a bond. There are a number of ways we can approach rolling that building into our existing district facilities," said Steele.
Until then, the district could consider a couple of different uses for the property.
"It also offers the opportunity for potential leases which are income producing between now and when we actually open that early learning center," said Steele.