At its Monday night meeting, the Hermiston School Board heard updates on several major expansion projects that the district will tackle in the future.
The board unanimously approved plans to move forward with the construction of the Harkenrider Center, the new senior center that will be built at Ridgeway Avenue near the Hermiston Public Library.
The school district owns the property and signed a 50-year lease with the city for that property, at $1 per year.
Construction is scheduled to be finished by August of this year.
Facilities Director Mike Kay gave the board a presentation on the Hermiston High School site expansion plans. Demolition work on the current Umatilla County Fairgrounds, onto which Hermiston High School plans to expand, is scheduled to start in June.
A portion of the former fairgrounds will be used for student parking that can be accessed off Orchard Avenue.
Kay presented on the scope of the project, and the timeline. After a bid on May 15, demolition is scheduled to begin June 12 and the project should be mostly completed by Sept. 22.
Work will include clearing the site of several buildings, except for Thompson and Hoeft halls, before laying the groundwork for a parking lot and an irrigation loop to water the grass.
Kay also provided an update to the economic impact study of the school’s athletic facilities.
The athletic economic impact study reviewed how Hermiston’s athletic facilities are used throughout the region, and tried to answer several questions: what is the economic impact of HSD facilities on the local economy, the impact from the district hosting outside events, and potential impact of adding more events at those facilities.
The study, conducted by Eugene firm EcoNW, found that in the past three years, the district had hosted 1,228 events, with total attendance of 485,186. All but 159 of those events were district-related. Attendance at those events generated an estimated $13.2 million spent on goods and services in the community, and supported about 256 full-time jobs.