School space a purchase away

School board approves five-acre purchase for expansion and option to buy 25 acres for sports

December 17, 2005

The Hood River County School District Board of Directors approved the purchase of the Baker property, five acres adjacent to the east of the existing school property in Cascade Locks, as well as an option to purchase 25.12 acres from the Asai families. This land is located south and east of Belmont and Alameda roads.

“Both properties provide land in excellent locations for reasonable prices,” said Board Chair Jan Veldhuisen Virk. “The district searched for two and a half years and discussed many pieces of properties before selecting these. We wanted to find good values for our tax dollars, and purchase land while it was still available.”

The school district is purchasing the land for current and anticipated needs for added educational space; both facilities and sports fields.

Portable classrooms are being added this year at Hood River Valley High School and Westside and May Street elementary schools because additional classroom space is needed right now.

The Westside area property can be used for sports fields under current zoning, if the district needs to build more classrooms and facilities on current school grounds. If the property is incorporated into the Urban Growth Boundary, the changed zoning would permit construction of school buildings.

The district will immediately negotiate for a one-year option to purchase the Asai property, subject to surveys and studies of the geology, soils, access, and BPA approval for uses near their easement on the property. Final purchase will depend on all of these studies producing acceptable results.

The district will also complete a Facilities Study, detailing the projected needs for school construction and whether building on existing properties or on separate lots is desirable.

The Cascade Locks property is adjacent to the existing school property and would accommodate construction of additional classrooms if needed.

“Added parking space is needed right now,” notes Principal Chris Daniels.

The board authorized the purchase of the Baker property in Cascade Locks as soon as the property can be partitioned.

The Land Acquisition Fund of $1 million will be used for the option, purchase, facilities study and site studies. Amounts exceeding the fund will be borrowed, to be repaid when a Construction Bond Levy is approved by voters in the future. The purchase price of the five acres in Cascade Locks is $225,000; the Asai land is $70,000 per acre.

Even though school district enrollment has declined slightly this school year, over the past 20 years enrollment has increased about 50 students per year, or two classrooms’ worth each year. The district last added classrooms in 2002.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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