Last year, voters in Newberg and Dundee approved Measure 36-205 for the creation of a Construction Bond for the Newberg School District to build a new elementary school in Dundee to replace the current building. However, this bond only covered the construction of the building.
On Tuesday October 26, during a livestreamed public session the Newberg school board voted to approve a bridge loan for the purchase of parcels of land to construct the new school building on, which will require the sale of the current historic school building to repay the bridge loan after construction is completed. The land to be purchased is in a currently undeveloped area near Edwards Drive and Eighth Street. The bridge loan the School district takes out for the purchase of the land will be around $3.45 million.
Is this an exciting deal for the students of the future Dundee Elementary School building? This will be the third school built in Dundee, Oregon; the first Dundee school was built in 1893 and the current Dundee Elementary School building was built in 1937. The second building has been subject to occasional flooding of its basement over the decades due to a design flaw that funnels rain runoff into the basement. In 2003 the building had an expansion, adding a new bus drop-off point and some major maintenance and repairs, but the occasional flooding issue has persisted. Given this, it is possible that the current school building will become demolished by its future new owner when the building becomes sold to repay the bridge loan and the land redeveloped.
Dundee’s population has expanded over the past two decades, growing by around a thousand new residents. According to 2019 data from the US Census Bureau, the average age of a resident is now 36, as younger couples move to the area. I was unable to locate census data for how many households in Dundee had children but the Dundee Elementary school currently has 303 students enrolled, per the Newberg school district website.