Superintendent discusses consolidation progress
January 9, 2020
By Dale Martin | Superintendent
I thought I would take some time to provide an update to what is currently happening with the Summerland District and the new school building project.
There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes activity since the three communities all passed the bond measure. The State Reorganization Board officially approved the Summerland Public School consolidation plan on an 8-0 vote. This plan sets June 5 as the date for the dissolution of Clearwater District 02-0006, Ewing District 45-0029 and Orchard District 02-0049, and the start of the new school district.
This was a fairly historic action as the three school districts have all been in operation for over a century. The new school will take about 16 months to build once ground is broken this spring, so the three schools will need to continue to use current facilities until then. That means the 2021-2022 school year will be the first where the students will all be taught together under one roof.
The Antelope County Zoning Commission has also approved a recommendation that the proposed school land be zoned for a school building. This will go to the Antelope County Commissioners for final approval. We are still waiting for a boundary survey and accompanying legal description to finalize the land purchase.
The Summerland Board committee has started meeting with the administration and representatives of the certified staff to negotiate salaries for next year.
The new Summerland board will be busy with the many decisions that will be necessary to begin a new district in 2020-2021, as well as the new school building project decisions. The school administrators from the three schools have also started meeting to discuss the timeline and process to make decisions on various items like curriculum, schedules, policy, staffing, technology and transportation.
The building project continues with meetings taking place to specify the design of the school building, including the educational spaces and the surrounding parking facilities and athletic field.
The Oversight Committee last met Dec. 17 at Orchard. This was a schematic review meeting where we reviewed the building schedule and current program budget and discussed a number of design options for the building, athletic complex and parking areas. More meetings will be held in January and February to further specify design details.
Input from representatives of the faculty and support staff will be important in these meetings as we continue to finalize the school design.
As you can see, there is a lot going on as we prepare for the new district to begin operating next year and also work on the design of the Summerland building and grounds. Things are moving forward at a good pace and we look forward to the 2020-2021 school year and the first day of classes for the new Summerland School District.