Article from February 1949 Omak Chronicle, when the school first opened as an elementary school
Proposed Bond Will Replace Middle School
In 1948, the Emert primary school was hailed as state-of-the-art, beautiful and functional.
Now 68 years later, that’s what the Omak Middle School needs to be.
Views of current seventh and sixth grade wings.
What we now know as the middle school was originally made to be an elementary school. What is now the library was an auditorium, gym or lunchroom over the years. The bell system that was once state-of-the-art is still in use as practically an antique.
The worst of the problems come in the dilapidated infrastructure – plumbing, electrical, HVAC. Maintenance
and custodial have been fighting a good battle to keep the school running, but the clock is ticking. Many items in the building cannot be repaired once they go down, or have been bypassed.
The district explored the possibility of just remodeling or rebuilding the school on its current site, but to fully modernize it and make it good for another 70 years would cost much more than building a new school. And staying in the same location would also mean middle
school students share
outdoor space with the high school, as well as the cafeteria, band room and more, instead of having their own designated space.
Most of the outdoor space at the Middle School is just this blacktop area.
The area of the middle school housing the PAC, main offices and eighth-grade wing would remain. The district is setting dollars aside to remodel the eighth-grade wing to function as a district office in place of the current facility, which is actual portables stacked on top of each other and was meant as a temporary solution 30 years ago. The current sixth grade wing, seventh grade wing and library would be demolished.
The original main entrance to the Middle School has steps that are sinking now, and is rarely used.
The district will call for a 20-year bond this coming April for about $27 million to build the new Middle School and a multi-use athletic field, along with demolition of the Emert school. All bond funds will go to this project.
That translates to $2.51 per $1,000 of assessed value, so a home assessed at $150,000 would pay $376 more per year, or about $31 per month.
We are encouraging our residents to register to vote in this election. Online registration
ends March 27 for the April election. In-person registration continues open until April 17. Ballots are mailed in early April.
The election day is April 25.
We are in need of community members to join our bond committee, to share in the process of letting the district residents know about the election. Please contact the district office at (509) 826-0320 to sign up.