Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Principal Phil Anderson has perfected a system for shuffling nearly 460 students through the halls of Brooklyn Primary School guided by their teachers as they transition from recesses to lunch breaks and out the door to home each day.

The shuffling act is needed because of the large student load placed on the school building constructed in the mid-1950s.

A 24-member committee including school district staff and community members has spent the past year learning more about all Baker School District buildings and the challenges the aging structures present. And they’ve considered improvements needed throughout the system.

Kim Mosier and Pat Heriza, two community representatives of the group known as the Long Range Facility Planning Committee, will present the committee’s findings to the Baker School Board Thursday night.

The Board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Council chambers at City Hall, 1655 First St.

Mosier said the report she and Heriza will make includes proposing a bond measure to the community for funding improvements.

“If we want to go forward, the funding has to come from a bond, in part at least,” Mosier said.

If the Board agrees to the committee’s plan, information first would be provided to district patrons.

Superintendent Mark Witty has been talking with community groups for the past year about the work undertaken by the committee and its plan to report back to the Board with a final proposal.

“Our recommendation would be that we would do even a broader outreach,” Mosier said. “We would get feedback and then it would behoove us to listen to what the community wants and to move forward accordingly.”

Last year the school district bought a 12.2-acre parcel just south of Hughes Lane. Among the potential uses for the property is the site of a new school.

Eight priorities have been identified in the long-range plan, Witty stated in a press release about Thursday’s meeting. They are:

• Capacity

• Safety and Security

• 21st Century Learning Environment

• Operational Costs and Energy Efficiency

• Deferred Maintenance and Repair Costs

• Community Facilities

• Technology

• Limiting the Transitions for Children and Families.

See more in the Feb. 14, 2018, issue of the Baker City Herald.