Hagerty named to Diamond
Photo by Tim Hirsch
NESTUCCA VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT Board of Directors is considering asking voters to support a renovated and expanded elementary school. The board is expecting to make a decision on whether to put a vote on the May 2018 ballot by December of this year.
School Board considering building upgrade for Nestucca Valley Elementary
By TIM HIRSCH
of the Sun
The Nestucca Valley School District’s Board of Directors is eyeing the possibility of asking voters to support a renovated and expanded elementary school and is expected to make a decision this December as to whether or not to put it on the ballot next May.
The DLR Group, which the district has employed to craft both a long-range facility plan as well as draft ideas for expansion, presented three possible layouts for a renovated and expanded elementary school campus to the board and administrative staff on Oct. 2. According to district superintendent Misty Wharton, the general consensus was that the board wanted to see one building rather than two, a traffic flow that featured a bus loop back behind the school, and centrally-located athletic facilities.
Following the Oct. 2 meeting, the Sun sat down with Wharton, who shared the way forward.
A key reason the district is looking at an upgrade now, is because of the promise of a $4 million grant from the Oregon Department of Education. Nestucca finished first in OSCIM’s “First In Time” list. Last year, Nestucca applied for the same grant, but finished too low.
“It’s a rarity that we would ever finish (first) again,” Wharton said, noting that it was the long-range work that the district has contracted with the DLR Group to do that put the district in a more favorable light.
“The first time we applied for it — in the winter of 2016 — we finished four or five slots out of the money and decided we weren’t ready to go ask the voters to support our plan,” Wharton said. “So then we spent another year planning and this time we have a much more concrete plan. So when we submitted our (grant) application this time, Oregon Department of Education basically said, ‘Your ducks are in a row. Your plan is solid, and, if you pass this bond, this $4 million would be well utilized.’”
Though Wharton said that the grant program would “probably” remain, she isn’t confident that the district could come in at number one again. Districts finishing out of the money still have the possibility of getting funded, but that would be contingent on more highly prioritized districts being unsuccessful in their own funding campaigns.
The current estimate for both renovating the current 28,000 square foot elementary school building and expanding it to a 74,000 square foot structure is $29.7 million, but Wharton described that figure as a “super rough” estimate.
“We just ballparked it,” she said. “We just had to get our place in line (for the grant) so to speak.”
If the board does give the go-ahead, it will then be up to the voters whether they want to support the district — and secure the $4 million in grant money in the process.
“It’s a pass it in May of 2018 or lose it,” Wharton said.
She added that the district will have a much better picture once they receive a more concrete estimate in the first week of December.
Wharton said the need for an expanded and updated facility is two-fold. First, Wharton said she’d like to see the district move to a kindergarten through eighth grade model at the elementary school. Currently seventh- and eighth-grade students are taught at Nestucca Jr.-Sr. High School. In addition, Wharton says, that because the current building was built in 1955, it is in need of a face lift.
Though the district recently invested $1.49 million via a seismic retrofit grant, maintenance and repair issues continue to surface each year.
“The board consciously voted to take (the seismic grant) money and invest it in this facility,” explained Wharton. “And that’s why they’re consciously deciding not to tear this facility down but to try and seek more money from taxpayers to update this facility so we go from a model of reacting to problems of an aging facility to being more proactive with this facility as a district. You have asbestos, you have single-pane windows, you have all these inefficient things still in this facility even though it’s structurally sound.”
The most recent case needing attention was when the school’s boiler failed — a failure that set the district back to the tune of $80,000.
Wharton said the need is for not just maintenance-free facilities but a larger building that would be capable of serving the district’s increasing enrollment.
“Last year, we finished with about 430 kids (at both schools), and this year we’re close to 490,” Wharton said. “That’s two years in a row that (our enrollment has gone up).”
A significant portion of the total size of the proposed addition — 14,000 square feet — would be for a double-sized gym so that the district could have both junior and senior high boys and girls practice at the same time.
If the board does take action in December, the district is expected to host community information sessions in January and February.
Photo courtesy of Ray Monroe
CLOVERDALE RESIDENT Bill Hagerty was named to the OSU Agricultural Diamond Pioneer Registry on Oct. 4.
Bill Hagerty named to the OSU Agricultural Diamond Pioneer Registry
Longtime Cloverdale resident Bill Hagerty was recognized as one of 12 honorees of the Oregon State University Agricultural Diamond Pioneer Registry at an Oct. 4 luncheon at OSU’s CH2M Hill Alumni Center in Corvallis.
The Registry, which was established in 1983, recognizes significant contributions of the university’s friends and colleagues who have served agriculture and related areas throughout a portion of their careers.
Hagerty was credited for his commitment toward conservation and land stewardship, as well as his leadership in the dairy industry.
His career in the dairy industry began in 1968 after a 10-year stint as a high climber in the timber industry. Together with his brother, Bruce, Bill began dairy farming along with his father, Jack, who was one of the first honorees of the Diamond Pioneer Registry. The brothers bought out their dad in the early 1970s and continued operating their dairy farm, Meadowview Dairies, until 2003. During that time, they introduced a number of innovative practices to Tillamook County at their farms — including technologies for manure management and the region’s first wheel-line irrigation system.
“We had one of the first flush barns to clean the barn,” Hagerty told the Sun. “We also had one of the first manure separators and probably the only one that was rigged up so that it was a gravity flow system.”
Hagerty has served on the Tillamook County Soil and Water District’s board of directors for 39 years — and the last 15 years as the district’s vice-chairman.
According to TCSWD manager Ray Monroe, Hagerty has been a champion for conservation efforts and the dairy industry as he’s encouraged the agriculture industry to focus on good stewardship. He has worked closely with staff from the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Oregon departments of agriculture and forestry, and many other agencies to improve communications and performance of Oregon farms and forests. Monroe says that, over the years, Hagerty has helped with many successful programs and worked tirelessly as a volunteer public servant for the people of Tillamook County.
“There’s been a lot of changes we’ve worked hard on,” Hagerty said about his role with the TCSWD. “(The district’s) done a lot of (work) helping farmers do streamside restoration and has done a lot — in conjunction with the OSU Extension Service — to document how the soils work different here than they do in the valley. That’s one of the big things that (the district’s) done. We get a lot of rain, but we also have a different kind of soil.”
Monroe said that all his accomplishments and leadership contributions add up to a worthy candidate for the Pioneer Registry.
“He’s been very innovative in the agriculture industry,” Monroe told the Sun. “Bill gets the newest and best information — along with our chair — to the people he represents. He’s a well-respected person in the community. He deserved it.”