Government: CMU Zone in Phase Two, Chick-fil-A & JSIP Move Forward, School Land Acknowledgment Mural, District Staff Changes, Bond Updates

In the most recent City Council Meeting, Council members voted on ordinances to implement the second phase of the Commercial Multi-Use (CMU) zoning, which will become effective on Sept. 28. CMU zones will have mixed residential and commercial uses through the Downtown Corvallis area, allowing for slightly taller buildings, and encouraging new business development. 

Chick-fil-A: City officials have reviewed plans for the new Chick-fil-A proposed at the site where McGrath’s Fish House once stood and found it compatible with current zoning according to city documents. This is a very busy intersection with a turn-in lane that looks like a throwback to pre-automobile times, so the City is requiring the existing lane to be changed to a planting strip to better accommodate the double-drive-thru which the restaurant is installing. This will be the first of the chicken chain to be in the Mid-Valley area, and with it comes some controversy over the founder’s reported extreme conservative beliefs. Appeals are welcomed by the city through Sept. 20 and can be made by calling 541-766-6929. 

JSIP Moves Forward: The Justice System Improvement Plan moves forward another step with the county moving to court to declare eminent domain on the land they have chosen. The “Last and best” offer was rejected by the current land owners.  

CSD School Board Starts New Year: The Corvallis School district had its first meeting of the new school year on September 8. 

Leading with Board Member Reports, Chair Sarah Finger McDonald shared that she, along with Board Members Tina Baker and Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, attended last Monday’s Welcome Back Rally hosted in the gym of Crescent Valley High School (CVHS), during which they had the opportunity to view the new land acknowledgment mural that CVHS students had worked on using funding from a grant from the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation. 

“I had the pleasure at the end of the summer to attend my 25th high school reunion at Crescent Valley High School, and I had attended one of the meetings that the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation held with the student grant recipients, and in that meeting the students were talking about how excited they were to receive funds for that land acknowledgment mural, and what it meant to them to create something beautiful that would spark conversation for future students for years to come,” said Co-Vice Chair Shauna Tominey. “It really sparked conversations that students are having now that we were not having 25 years ago.”  

New School District Staff: Corvallis School District (CSD) Superintendent Ryan Noss introduced staff members who are stepping into new roles for the district:  

  • Amy Wright, Principal of Franklin K-8, former Vice Principal of Northern Albany Middle School; 
  • Dennis Foster, Jr., Vice Principal of Cheldelin Middle School, served for 12 years as a special education teacher at both Cheldelin and Linus Pauling Middle School; 
  • Kim Johnson, Middle School Coordinator, held similar role supporting principals and policies for the Bering Strait School District in Alaska; 
  • Brian Schaffeld, Interim Director of Technology Services, former teacher and bilingual educator 

Bond Updates: Installing the new playground at Bessie Coleman Elementary is near completion, but due to labor shortage, getting a crew to lay rubber tiles has been a challenge; landscaping at Aspen intersection is underway. Renovations have been completed for the cafeteria, library, gym, all-user restrooms, and office reception area at Letitia Carson Elementary, which also has a new addition to its parking lot. The art/science room, library, cafeteria/commons space, and gym at Kathryn Jones Elementary have also been renovated.  

The new music room remains under construction at Adams Elementary, where concrete footings/foundations are also being installed for the new outdoor covered play structure. New aluminum windows, attic exhaust vents, blinds, and ceiling fans have been installed at Franklin K-8; one operable window will eventually be added to each classroom. The school’s roof has also been replaced, finishing touches are being made to the new all-user restrooms, as well as hallway floors and ceilings. Lockers for 6th – 8th graders will be available in the building before the end of the month.  

For more details on other Corvallis school building renovations, check out the PowerPoint presentation here and read about general updates here. A more detailed cost report/forecast will be presented in October after bond project managers confirm costs with contractors related to impacts that were encountered this summer. Corvallis School Board Members were reassured that the bond team “continues to operate well within available funds” and will be able to deliver on all bond promises. 

Correction: In our original article, we said Phase 2 of the CMU project would begin Sept. 28. It will be effective Sept. 28. Additionally, comments for the Chick-fil-A project are completed, and appeals are open until Sept. 20. These have been fixed.

By Advocate Staff 

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