Photo courtesy of North Wasco County School District.

School renovations coming to the North Wasco County School District

September 6, 2023

Oregon – During a recent meeting, the North Wasco County School District Board voted to move forward with a school bond measure in November 2023, opening the door for a new high school in The Dalles.

The current high school has numerous infrastructure issues, including:

  • A leaking roof.
  • The lack of an HVAC system in the main portion of the building.
  • Insufficient air conditioning.
  • Two-setting boiler system.
  • Inefficient windows.
  • Lack of ADA accessibility.
  • Required upgrades to plumbing, electrical, and seismic.
  • Fire sprinkler improvements.
  • Paving, walkway, and utility repairs.
  • Auditorium infrastructure repair.

District officials estimate that the renovation project will cost $129 million.

Initially designed in 1941, with an addition in 1973, the school building is inadequate to service today’s student population. The 7-acre site cannot support an on-campus athletic program and lacks commons and gathering spaces.

The building’s current layout poses challenges in accommodating even 800 people. The school is limited to only 43 teachers and classrooms in the building. Any additional courses need relocation to an off-campus site.

The proposed initiative is intended to realize the following objectives:

  • Construct a new, safe and secure high school.
  • Renovate and repurpose the existing High School building, addressing basic repairs.
  • Demolish the west side of the Wahtonka High School building, creating space for in-demand athletic facilities.

If the bond is ratified, construction of a new High School on the east side of the Wahtonka Campus will begin in 2025 with a target completion in 2027.

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