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Study lists needs of school district


The Grand Coulee Dam School District’s new “Study and Survey” is on its way to the state superintendent’s office.

The document was prepared by Design West, the district’s architectural firm, and is an overview of the district and its building needs.

There’s nothing new in the Study & Survey: It declares a need for more classroom space and a lack of financial resources to accomplish this.

The Study & Survey is done every five years and is funded by the state. This year’s document was funded at the $6,500 level.

“It will probably occupy space on someone’s shelf,” Superintendent Paul Turner stated last week.

The school board reviewed the report, passed it, and it is on its way to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

There is some value in the report as it gives an overview of the district’s facilities through a new set of eyes, and would eventually help determine the financial match the district would have to meet if construction does occur.

The district’s task of finding the money is still front and center, and to date is no closer to a solution.

The Study & Survey shows that student levels from 2011 to date range from 655 to 727, and endorses the idea that the district is definitely growing again.

This reinforces the message that, even with the new building, there is still a shortage of classrooms. The need for an extra classroom this fall was met by moving the preschool to the former middle school in Grand Coulee.

The Study & Survey states that Grand Coulee Dam is a terrorist target and that if the dam was breached the “resultant water flow could destroy the existing bridge north of the Dam and would isolate Lake Roosevelt Schools.”

The report also stated: “The Town of Coulee Dam is built on soil fill material. In the event of a breach of the Dam, the resultant water flow will quickly erode both sides of the Columbia River.”

In regard to student population, the report noted that, as of 2016, the percentage of students on free or reduced meal service is about 44 percent.

The Study & Survey outlined a shopping list of needed improvements that included a new gym with fitness and weight room, locker rooms, and six standard classrooms, plus two additional classrooms. It also listed the need to modernize the existing gym and the two existing shops, the need for a new track and football field with synthetic turf, and the need for additional classrooms at the main building, to name just a few of the listed needs.

The report states that with these needed improvements the district should be in a good educational period for at least the next 50 years.

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