Waldport city leaders and school district officials want to know: What is a good vision for the 11.47-acre parcel of land once the existing high school is demolished and restored to bare ground?
A community meeting to talk about that is planned for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Waldport High School. The intent of the meeting is to gather as many ideas as possible. Waldport Mayor Susan Woodruff, Lincoln County School District Superintendent Tom Rinearson and LCSD Safety Coordinator Susan Graves will present information, answer questions and take feedback during the meeting. School officials are also accepting ideas on ways to preserve the memory of the existing Waldport High School, which has been an integral part of the community for the past 55 years.
The school district was awarded a $3 million Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose of the pre-disaster mitigation project is to reduce the loss of lives and property destruction in the event of a tsunami or other catastrophic flooding at the existing high school campus. FEMA has purchased all the structures and development rights at the site. In turn, the school district will demolish and remove the school buildings, portable classrooms, and grandstands; restore the site into open space and keep it that way with no future development other than open-space. Examples of possible open space uses include a park for outdoor recreation, wetlands management, nature reserves, cultivation, and grazing.
What is good about this project is that it allows the school district to remove an empty school (which can be expensive to maintain even when not in use) and to restore the land for open space use without spending district funds.
The mitigation project will get under way once the new Waldport High School up on Crestline is completed in August. The new high school building is located on high ground 1.5 miles south of the existing campus, next to Crestview Heights School.
The estimated cost to demolish and dispose of the high school structures is between $350,000 and $750,000; this range is broad because the extent of asbestos removal is not known. There will be additional costs associated with the project in order to restore the land to bare ground. Any remaining monies will go to the school district’s Building Maintenance Fund, which supports school facilities throughout Lincoln County.