Bend -La Pine school district’s future high school might include nearly 60 classrooms and learning spaces, two gyms and many meeting areas for students.

At Tuesday evening’s school board meeting, Renee Alexander, the principal of BBT Architects, and Marc Nordeau from BRIC Architecture presented a tentative design of what the district’s fifth comprehensive high school might look like. The building is still scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2021, and will be located at the intersection of SE 15th Street and Knott Road in the southeastern corner of Bend. It will serve 1,600 students.

Alexander and Nordeau not only showed board members a floor plan of the new high school but also hosted a virtual-reality tour, letting the board “fly through” the building via computer images.

The building plan has one long hallway with a pair of two-story classroom wings, a theater/art wing and a section with two gyms — similar in design to Ridgeview High in Redmond, Alexander said — and labs for career and technical education.

The hallways of the classroom wings will have tables and private rooms for students to gather and work on school projects. Large steps, or “learning stairs,” as Alexander called them, will also be placed near stairways for use by teachers who want to instruct outside the classroom, or for students to meet.

Alexander said the building will have 37 classrooms and 22 spaces for elective classes, including art or marketing. There will be two secure entryways and a fenced-off outdoor plaza for students. The building will tentatively have three elevators.

A large outdoor athletic facility nearby will include a football stadium and fields for baseball, softball and soccer. The entire school will sit on 50 acres of land.

According to Alexander, the building design should be finalized and presented to the school board by mid-October, and include an estimated project cost by then.

The board must still approve a contract, but that won’t happen until 2019. Construction is expected to begin that summer.

Tuesday’s presentation was based on months of input from the community and the school board, Alexander said.

“It’s just incredible to see, at least at this point, we’ve kept almost all the core principles and values that we started out wanting,” said board member Carrie Douglass. “Thank you for really listening to the teachers and administrators.”

Southeast Bend’s high school wasn’t the only new building discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. The new elementary school, located in north Bend and expected to be open at the start of the 2019-20 school year, is beginning its naming process.

“We’re excited to no longer call it the ‘new elementary school’ and have a name for it,” said Kevin Gehrig, principal of the new elementary.

Gehrig said he and a committee — made up of community members, one parent each from Lava Ridge and High Lakes elementary schools and district representation — will accept surveys from the public from Oct. 1-21 for name suggestions.

Suggestions must be related to one of three categories: A nearby geographical or historical place, a thematic name that either references local wildlife or reflects the cultural and historical character of the community, or the name of a person who has been dead for at least five years and has historical or educational significance to the area.

On Dec. 11, Gehrig said he and the committee will present the three best names to the school board, and a name will be tentatively selected before winter break.

Possible mascots and colors for the school may also be presented.

—Reporter: 541-617-7854; jhogan@bendbulletin.com

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