Vale Middle School

This photo shows Vale Middle School on Monday. During a Vale School Board work session on Monday, board members tossed around the idea of moving plans to build a new middle school from northwest of Vale High School to this location.

VALE — With the abatement done, the old Vale Middle School, is one step closer to being demolished this year.

At Wednesday’s Vale School District Board of Directors meeting, Vale School District Superintendent Alisha McBride gave an update on how far along the district is in the demolition.

McBride said bids for the demolition should start next week with the deadline for bids being Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. McBride said the district expects substantial completion of the demolition to be by April 28 and final completion to be May 26.

According to the minutes from the board’s Dec. 11 meeting, the abatement of Vale Middle School was completed in mid-December and the crew that completed the abatement did find asbestos in the tiles under the band room carpet.

The discovery of the asbestos did increase the charge of the abatement, but  the project is still on budget, the minutes claim.

During an interview in November, McBride said the current plan for the old middle school property is to have a large green space that can be used by the whole community.

The new Vale Middle School is located behind the high school on Viking Drive. The construction for the new facility was completed just in time for the start of the school year, complete with air conditioning (the old middle school did not have air conditioning) and a new gym which is the biggest indoor gathering place in Vale.

Willowcreek well

Since mid-September, students and staff at Willowcreek Elementary School have been using water dispensers in every room since the on-campus well tested positive for E. coli.

As of Wednesday’s school board meeting, McBride said the school district is still working with the Oregon Health Authority to develop a solution to correct the problem.

The district currently has two options for what to do with the well:

1. Drilling a new well.

2. Reconstructing the old well and addressing the E. coli with a disinfection system.

According to McBride, when the well tested positive, an advisory was issued to all students and staff at the school to avoid drinking the water at the school.

McBride said there have been no illnesses related to the E. coli found in the water that she is aware of.

As part of the Oregon Health Authority’s research into the well, McBride said it was discovered that the well was never registered with the state of Oregon at all. McBride said Vale School District isn’t sure the exact date that the well was built.

Nik Streng is the sports reporter for the Argus Observer. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a master's degree in journalism, after graduating from Pacific University in 2013 with a degree in creative writing.

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