WALLOWA — Services for an architect for the Wallowa School District’s planned work next year were awarded during a special meeting Monday, Oct. 4, Superintendent Tammy Jones said the next day.

“Architects West came out on top,” she said.

Jones said the firm works out of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, but has done much work in Northeast Oregon, including Echo, Umatilla, Milton-Freewater and Pendleton. She said that upon reviewing what the firm has done in those places, she and members liked what they’d done.

“They have done a lot of local stuff around here,” Jones said.

The contract will be for four architects: a principal architect, a jurisdictional review architect, a project architect and a landscape architect.

Jones didn’t have an amount the architects would be paid, but said their services must fit within the $12,188,000 bond and Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching program grant.

The project also includes a $2.3 million state grant assessing seismic concerns with the school’s gymnasium and athletic facility by shoring up walls and retrofitting to meet seismic concerns.

“We have a fault line running right through here,” she said.

Next up, Jones said, will be getting a general contractor on board. Plans are to begin demolition in March.

“We are on a fast track to get started,” she said.

During the regular meeting Monday, Oct. 11, the board:

• Continued to discuss the work to be done under the bond and the seismic project.

• Heard a report that as of Oct. 1, the schools had 200 students enrolled with a few more registering since then, Jones said. She said the enrollment is staying above both last year and 2019.

• Heard a report that no students have tested positive for COVID-19 this semester. Also, Jones said, all staff and faculty have either been vaccinated against the virus or provided documentation of approved exemptions.

• Approved a fuel bid to the Wallowa County Grain Growers for No. 2 diesel heating fuel at $2.63 a gallon.

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