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Remodeling input sought

Students at Oak Harbor High School would get more room if taxpayers approve the remodel and expansion. Now, students crowd the narrow hallways between periods. - P. Christine Smith
Students at Oak Harbor High School would get more room if taxpayers approve the remodel and expansion. Now, students crowd the narrow hallways between periods.
— image credit: P. Christine Smith

Expanding and remodeling Oak Harbor High School will be the topic of discussion and investigation over the next few months.

Examining how to proceed with trying to get a bigger and better high school, the Oak Harbor School District Board of Directors at its regular meeting Monday night instructed Superintendent Rick Schulte to set up ways for the board to gather public input.

“I’d like to see us go forward with public input, so I’d like to have the public meetings,” Kathy Jones, board president, said.

Schulte will begin immediately to set up public meetings during March.

“The more people we talk to, the better,” board member Kathy Chalfant said. She suggested having at least one public meeting take place during the day, at perhaps the senior center, for community members who can’t go out at night.

However, the board decided to forego the use of focus groups to determine the scope of the construction.

Instead the board said it wants to get answers for taxpayers, who will be asked to foot the bill through a bond issue at the polls. The date of such an election has not been determined.

“I’d rather spend money on a conceptual than on focus groups,” Chalfant said.

A conceptual, based on the three options the board decided in January to investigate, would include preliminary design and specifications, providing more concrete plans for the community to ponder. It would also provide “a better handle on the cost estimate,” Schulte said, on the project that could cost as much as about $50 million.

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