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Community Looks to Save Aging Schools

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YONCALLA, Ore. — A major decision is in front of a Douglas County school board, one that could determine the fate of the district.

The Yoncalla community came together Monday night to learn what can be done to save the district’s two aging schools.

The school board will need to decide quickly if they want to save their schools from closing next year.

Architects presented their findings in a detailed report.

They focused on the district’s only two schools.

Both the elementary and high school have roofing issues, storm water problems and the high school needs a full boiler replacement.

The ultimate outcome: they need major upgrades that could cost upwards of $7 million.

In the next few weeks the school board will need to decide if they use the $275,000 in maintenance reserves they already have to repair the schools for one year, potentially merge with the North Douglas School District, or pursue a bond to help with the upgrades.

The community says it’s not an easy decision.

“A lot of the parents have gone to school here so they talk about, they remember when they went to school here. You’re looking at a generational thing for a lot of these small towns,” said teacher, Scott Cooper.

“I went to school here I mean, K-12 I graduated from Yoncalla. I would hate to see there no longer be this school district but if that’s what has to happen for the kids then yes,” said parent, Sabrina Crader.

“I heard some of the options were to go to combine with like North Douglas and stuff. So I don’t think I’d like that,” said student, Tyler Gustafson.

North Douglas and Yoncalla have been long rivals.

But the community said it’s not about creating a war against Drain, they just want to save their schools.

The community is meeting Wednesday to continue the discussion.

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