Clarkston voters will have a high school construction bond to consider in February 2018.
A plan developed by the Clarkston School Board gets rolling with a neighborhood meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 tonight in the Clarkston High School library.
Another meeting for school staff and community members is set for Tuesday, with one planned approximately every two weeks after that through December.
Tonight's meeting, while open to anyone, is geared toward those who live near the high school, according to Superintendent Tim Winter.
"I think we need to ask these people what they want to see," Winter said. "What we're trying to do is get people engaged."
Residents received notices from the district about tonight's meeting, at which they will see an aerial video of the existing campus shot from a drone, Winter said.
"We're trying to be really open and transparent with everything," he said.
A $38 million bond proposal for replacing the east section of Clarkston High School with a two-story wing was soundly rejected in February 2014, with just 48 percent of voters supporting the measure. A 60 percent supermajority is required to pass a school construction bond in Washington.
The total for that project would have been $47.81 million, with a $9.81 million match from the state.
The community input meetings that begin tonight are part of the first phase of a three-part timeline that will culminate in a new proposal and bond attempt, Winter said.
Phase two, from January to September 2017, includes presenting a plan to the community, formation of a citizens committee and opportunities for feedback on the plan.
The third phase, from October 2017 to February 2018, centers on the citizens committee marketing the bond.
Unlike in Lewiston, where school board members grappled with a decision between two potential construction sites for their March 2017 bond, Clarkston's board members know from the outset they'll be working with their existing campus, Winter said.
Clarkston's challenge, he said, will be developing a plan for renovating or rebuilding portions of the school while students continue to attend classes there.
Winter said he anticipates the plan will focus on incorporating the look of the Adams building, the original 1915 brick high school building facing Sixth Street, into the design for other parts of the campus.
"We have a vision, but we don't have a plan," he said. "We really want to hear the voice of the community."
The design presented in 2014, he said, did not mesh well with the neighborhood and surrounding Clarkston community.
"I don't think we did as good a job as we could asking for feedback," he said.
Winter succeeded Darcy Weisner as Clarkston's superintendent in July 2014, about five months after the last bond attempt was defeated.
Winter said he has communicated with Lewiston School District Superintendent Bob Donaldson about the Clarkston district's move toward a bond attempt.
"Both communities are in need of a modernized high school, and I think both are deserving of a modernized high school," Winter said. "We're working on the same goal, which is valleywide education."
Leading up to Clarkston's 2014 bond attempt, some community members questioned the district's commitment to maintaining its buildings after students and staff members complained at public forums about the high school's leaky roof.
Since then, the district has had the roof repaired with a spray-on seal that came with a 10-year warranty.
"We have a responsibility to take care of our things and show that we are taking care of our things," Winter said. "We learned a lot from the last two go-arounds, and we're trying not to make the same mistakes."
Stone may be contacted at email@example.com or at (208) 848-2244. Follow her on Twitter @MarysSchoolNews.