The Lincoln County School Board, like any other government services provider, is always on the look-out for funds to build new buildings, improve the buildings they already have and other education-related facilities from Lincoln City to Waldport to Toledo.
The schools’ construction excise tax was enacted by the state legislature several years ago as a way to generate revenue for those capital improvements. Last January the board approved raising the construction excise tax rate for the first time in nine years to $1.07 per square foot for new residential construction, and 53-cents per square foot for non-residential construction.
The state Department of Revenue allows rates to increase, indexed for inflation. School officials recommended increasing the rate gradually each year to eventually reach the rate allowed by the state. For fiscal year 2017/18, the recommendation is an increase of seven cents for residential construction, and three cents for non-residential, raising the rate to $1.14 per square foot for new residential construction and 56-cents per square foot for non-residential construction. Again, this pertains ONLY to new construction.
A resolution to formally adopt the higher rates will be presented for the Board’s consideration at their August board meeting.
Then another reminder about the upcoming Solar Eclipse August 21st – Secondary Education Principal Jon Zagel reported he has been planning with various local governmental and emergency services entities. Zagel says about 100,000 people are expected to visit the Oregon coast for the eclipse. As for Lincoln County Schools they’ll all be closed the day of the eclipse, and there will be no athletic practices that day.
It was announced that the school board will meet in a work session Tuesday, July 18 beginning at 1:00 p.m. After the work session is adjourned the board will convene as the Local Contract Review Board to hold a public hearing and consider a Request for Proposals for seismic work at Newport High and Sam Case Elementary, two schools fairly close to each other. Earthquake strengthening will be discussed and a bid will be eventually awarded for the work at the two schools which will be used for shelters by residents who are displaced by the earthquake. The much anticipated Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake has occurred along the northwest coast of the U.S. every 250 to 350 years on average. It’s been 317 years since the last one in early 1700.
The board will also focus on communication, goals, and a discussion on a superintendent succession plan. Interim Superintendent Tom Rinearson has agreed to steer a steady course for the district until a permanent replacement can be found. Rinearson retired a few years ago after many years at the helm but graciously came to the rescue of the board when former Superintendent Steve Boynton decided to resign after some school parents complained that a girls sports team, celebrating a championship win, was given a pool party at Boynton’s home that they felt was inappropriate. An investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office found no illicit or even suggestive behavior involving the young women, and many adults at the party said nothing inappropriate went on. But due to public discomfort with the story Boynton felt compelled to resign, and he did.
Rinearson has agreed to stay on as interim superintendent until the end of the school year next June.
In other school board items…Superintendent Rinearson congratulated the Newport High “Finnovators” Robotics team for their 14th place showing out of 40 teams in international competition. The eight-member team, mentored by Liz Fox, traveled to the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition in Long Beach, CA. Their ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) can use a scoop to pick up sediment and can turn 360 degrees- under water.
Superintendent Rinearson thanked several very generous local businesses for their very substantial contributions to the turf field under construction at Newport Middle School. Central Coast Excavating (Vern Wiles and Bob Farrington) donated $10,000 in cash to the effort. Vern Wiles also donated $3,000 in trucking services for the project, and Road & Driveway (Rob Wienert) donated asphalt and labor for the track that will go around the field. Sincere thanks to all!
Superintendent Rinearson reported that Waldport High School saw a large increase in the number of students taking Career Technical Education courses. The school now has four offerings: Tourism/Hospitality; Fire and Emergency Services; Manufacturing and Fabrication; and Commercial Art.
Superintendent Rinearson congratulated the Newport High International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma candidates, all eight of whom earned the IB diploma. In six of eight areas tested, NHS students exceeded average scores compared to IB test takers around the world.
And finally, Superintendent Rinearson reminded the board that the district will use online registration for the coming year. The registration system will open on August 7th; labs will also be offered at schools – dates and locations are listed on the District website at www.lincoln.k12.or.us or just click here.