Of the Keizertimes

Preparing for further enrollment growth is the object of a series of Salem-Keizer School District work sessions, the first of which was held Monday, Dec. 19.

The session focused on security, safety, and expansion. Participants were mostly district administrators and staffers, with Paul Kyllo the only School Board member present; director Chuck Lee had to cancel plans to attend the session.

Mary Paulson, district chief of staff, reviewed the school bonds from 1992 on. She noted that the current bond of $242.1 million, which began in 2008, includes four new schools but not the career technical school.

Michael Wolfe, chief operating officer, showed a chart of levy rates for the 2008 bond. He pointed to a drop in the rate for 2017 but showed that there would be small increases in the next few years.

Noting that projections are not an exact science, Superintendent Christy Perry said, “We tried to be middle-of-the-road in setting goals.”

The meeting split into two groups, one on safety and security and the other on possibilities for future buildings.

John Van Dreal, director of safety and risk management, discussed safety and security. The objectives, he said are based on the multidisciplinary approach of CEPTED  (crime prevention through environmental design).

CEPTED involves construction of buildings so that people are as visible as possible. This means deterring potential troublemakers by constructing barriers, placing access points, and allowing places for cameras.

“Criminals don’t like to work hard,” he noted.

Van Dreal said plans are to have all district buildings secured in those ways.

Wolfe, who led the other group, discussed recommendations for portable classrooms, including replacing 20-year portables with 50-year ones. He said one of the latter, which would have two classrooms, would cost $350,000.

Growth of the McNary High School attendance area is something Wolfe said will have to be addressed. He raised the possibility of having the attendance area of a new or present high school include part of Keizer. He said the same is true of the McKay High School attendance area.

“If we do nothing,” Wolfe said, “McKay will have 2,700 students by 2020.”

Succeeding meetings will be held Jan. 12, 19, and 26. Paulson said there is a possibility of a Feb. 9 session.