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Learn details about Medford school bond construction projects

Schematic design options for at least four Medford schools and other information about 14 other construction projects in the school district's $189 million bond package will be available at an information meeting Thursday.

District officials, architects and project managers will give information and answer questions about each construction project, which is slated for every campus in the district.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at Abraham Lincoln Elementary, 3101 McLoughlin Drive.

Schematic drawings will be displayed for construction options at Jefferson and Washington elementary schools, North Medford High and a new South Medford High. District officials were uncertain late Friday whether schematic drawings for options at Lone Pine Elementary would be completed in time.

"Lone Pine is being replaced," said Mark Button, Medford school facilities manager. "We are just looking at whether we can incorporate the existing media center in the design. We may not be able to use it practically, but we are going to try to salvage it. It depends on the architects' and engineers' evaluations."

Public comment cards will be available at the meeting.

Information about the projects and regular updates will also be posted on the district's Web site, beginning Friday. District residents may submit comments about the projects on cards available at the meeting or on the Web site.

"We will certainly look through those comments because they will give us an indication of the concerns people have and perhaps suggestions that could help us," said Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long.

The bond package includes building a new South Medford High on 40 acres at Columbus and Cunningham avenues and remodeling North Medford High, both beginning in 2008. Plans also call for building a new Lone Pine Elementary on its existing site, renovating Jackson, Oak Grove, Roosevelt, Jackson and Washington elementary schools and repairing or modernizing 11 other campuses.

Some small projects — such as installing new door hardware and locks at schools — are already under way.

Washington and Jefferson elementary schools are first on the agenda for major construction. Work removing asbestos, upgrading heating systems, adding air-conditioning, replacing roofing and flooring and painting will begin this summer.

Washington will get a new cafeteria, while at Jefferson, workers will connect outer buildings with enclosed breezeways.

Minor projects at Hoover, Griffin Creek and Kennedy elementary schools are also slated for the summer. They include removing asbestos, replacing roofing and flooring, upgrading heating systems, adding air-conditioning and painting.

Few details are expected at the meeting about Jackson, Lone Pine, Oak Grove and Roosevelt elementary schools, as engineers are still evaluating the buildings. Architects on those projects, however, will be on hand. The earliest construction would begin on those schools is 2008, based on the outcome of architects' and engineers' evaluations, Button said.

District officials announced in March they would scrap a plan to demolish four buildings on the sprawled-out North Medford campus and replace them with a two-story centralized structure. They said they decided to scale down the North Medford project because engineers had determined the buildings are structurally sound, and costs for other projects are higher than anticipated.

Despite the change in scope, North Medford will receive new roofing, upgraded heating and air-conditioning, a new water system and possibly more square footage for a commons area, Long has said.

One of the school's goals is to increase ties to the campus and foster more teacher and student interaction.

"We have needs in excess of $189 million," Long said. "The tendency is once a bond is passed is to continue to add things. We are trying to resist that trend, so no campus is left behind."

On the Web: www.medford.k12.or.us

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or pachen@mailtribune.com.