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Coos Bay BEST Bond is back on the ballot

The pavement at Blossom Gulch Elementary is failing, a sign of larger infrastructure concerns with the building. Blossom Gulch will close its doors and move it's students to a renovated Eastside Elementary if the Coos Bay BEST Bond is approved this November after failing in May by only 32 votes.

COOS BAY — The Coos Bay School District has hired a project management firm to oversee all aspects of construction for the Coos Bay Best Bond measure.

The voter-approved $59.9 million bond was passed Nov. 7 to renovate and repair school buildings within the district. 

Most pressingly, the money would be used to rebuild the Eastside Elementary School and provide the district with a safer location to house the 600 children at Blossom Gulch. The elementary was built on fill dirt in a tsunami inundation zone and has been sinking for decades, crushing pipes and separating stairs from doorways.

As previously reported by The World, Blossom Gulch is the most problematic building in the Coos Bay School District. It was built on the former site of “Blossom’s Logging Camp” in 1954, a marsh that was packed with fill dirt. Not only does the building hold 600 children, but because of to failing foundations the hallways don’t sit flat, stairs are separating from the pavement, and pipes are being crushed.

Alsea, Oregon-based Integrity Solutions Management LLC will oversee the project in its entirety, according to Coos Bay School District Board Chair Adrian DeLeon.

"We typically hire a project manager for large projects like this, DeLeon said. "They make sure all licenses from contractors and architecture firms are coordinated to keep everything on schedule, so one part of the project is not delayed by paperwork or licensing issues with contractors and architects hired for the project."

The Coos Bay School District approved hiring Integrity Solutions Management at the Feb. 12 regular school board meeting.

DeLeon said that the paperwork to receive $4 million in matching funds from the state was finalized at the March 12 meeting. Proposals from architecture and engineering firms will be decided at the April 18 school board meeting.

Calls to Integrity Management Solutions and CBSD's business manger with questions on how much the Maryland firm will be paid were not returned Friday afternoon. The firm recently managed the construction at the Santiam Christian School in Corvallis.

The bond measure was hotly contested in Coos Bay with the measure barely passing Nov. 7 by 28 votes.

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