Othello school committee asks for facilitator help

Print Article

OTHELLO — Members of a committee asked to recommend options to meet facility needs in the Othello School District are asking for help in the form of a facilitator.

Committee chair Ryan Frazier made a report on the committee’s progress to the Othello School Board at its Oct. 22 meeting. At the top of the committee’s list was a request for a facilitator with experience in school construction.

The committee was formed in the wake of a cost analysis of a plan to convert the district’s four elementary schools and McFarland Middle School to kindergarten through eighth grade. The projected cost was more than $30 million, and the analysis did not include any provision for projected growth.

The 25-person committee was asked to determine the district’s needs when it comes to facilities, and to recommend at least two options to address them. It will report to the school board each month.

The committee was supposed to establish a timetable for its final report, but Frazier said the committee’s not ready for that yet. “What we need is – the biggest one is time. This kind of structure, doing this much work, it takes up a decent amount of time.” It’s a big task, he said, bigger than committee members may have realized at first.

That led to the request for some expert advice. “We do have a few members on the committee that have some experience in this, but overall we’re a lot of greenhorns on there.” The facilitator would be asked to come up with a “scope and sequence, basically a game plan,” and help prepare the committee’s final report. “We feel we need an expert, someone that has been through this process before, or something like it.”

Committee members proposed recommending some candidates to the board and let them make the selection. “Realistically, if someone is putting this much time in, there probably should be someone getting paid for it,” Frazier said.

In answer to a question from board member Jenn Stevenson, Frazier said committee members thought the facilitator should not be on the committee. Board member Mike Garza asked about options, in addition to construction experts and architects.

Superintendent Chris Hurst said district officials worked with ESD 112, Vancouver, earlier this year, and there are some low-cost, and possibly no-cost, alternatives. “There are options out there that we can present to the committee, and the committee can decide.”

Board member Tony Ashton said he was willing to let the committee decide, but that its members should come back to the board before making a decision, especially if a fee is involved.

Board chair Rob Simmons asked Frazier about a timeline for the committee’s recommendations. Frazier said the committee hasn’t really addressed that yet.

Ashton is a member of the committee, “I think the sense of the committee is they want to take their time and not rush. They want to take their time and do it right.”

Some of the projects proposed might require a construction bond, Simmons said, but others might not.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

Print Article

Read More Schools

Wahitis Elementary details ‘house system’

July 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald OTHELLO — Most of us have heard about the houses in the “Harry Potter” book series. But what may be new to some is that area schools are adopting a similar system in their schools. Mattawa has be...

Comments

Read More

Red Rock Elementary construction on schedule

June 25, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald ROYAL CITY — Red Rock Elementary School is well into phase two of construction and demolition for phase 3 has begun. That was the report given during a regular meeting of the Royal School Board on Mo...

Comments

Read More

Othello school superintendent contract extended

June 25, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald OTHELLO — Othello School Board members have approved a contract extension for district superintendent Chris Hurst. The contract was approved at the regular board meeting Monday. The vote was 4-0. ...

Comments

Read More

Wahluke School District board adopts new math curriculum

June 18, 2019 at 8:51 pm | The Royal Register MATTAWA — The Wahluke School District board adopted a new math curriculum during a regular meeting on June 11. The new curriculum will standardize the math being taught to all kindergartners thro...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

509-765-4561
705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2019 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X