Bustin’ up sod for a new high school in Waldport
Photos Courtesy: LCSD
The rain gods were tricked by an irish leprechaun into taking a few hours off on Wednesday which granted a bit of clear sky for something that hasn’t happened in Waldport for over fifty years – building a brand new high school. The old one, down the road and on the bay, lies smack in the way of a large tsunami that can be expected if the Cascadia Subduction Zone decides to let loose anytime soon.
The 30-minute groundbreaking ceremony was attended by city and county officials, families and kids, students and teachers. A wee leprechaun named Moose handed out chocolate. An electrifying pep band entertained the crowd of 100-plus. Board members and community leaders spoke words of gratitude and recognition. And enthusiastic football cheerleaders chanted, “Dig! Dig! Dig! Dig!” during the ceremonial tossing of dirt with I-R-I-S-H shovels.
Construction will get under way immediately on the 56,000-square-foot school, to be located directly south of the existing Crestview Heights School. It will be ready for students and staff at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. The class of 2014 (today’s sophomores) will be the first to graduate from the new school.
Funding for the new high school, and many other school improvement projects throughout the district, is being provided through the $63 million general obligation bond levy that county voters approved in May 2011. To date, $10.1 million of Lincoln County School District’s capital construction fund has been expended inside the county, helping to support local businesses and workers.
Located just a few feet above sea level, the existing Waldport High School is the last remaining public school in Lincoln County located within a tsunami inundation zone. Built in 1958, the school includes six portable classrooms and is vulnerable to earthquake and flooding.
Relocating the high school to high ground, between Crestview Heights School and the community college campus, will consolidate south area educational resources at one location. This will allow cost savings through shared facilities while improving safety for students and staff.
By law, the school district may use bond proceeds only for capital improvements, not general operating expenses such as teachers’ salaries. However, by having access to bond funds, the district can make needed building improvements without tapping into general operating funds.