The Road to Closure: A Timeline

Jackson and Roosevelt elementary schools are built during a Medford growth spurt.

In a memo to Superintendent Steve Wisely, facilities manager Dan Sheehan reports that deterioration of mortar on the exteriors of Jackson and Roosevelt elementary schools is causing bricks to loosen. He recommends immediately inspecting the bricks above the doorways and pointing the mortar around the ones that are loose. Later, he suggests the district inspect the upper levels and commission an engineering study to ascertain the structural integrity of the buildings.

May 1987

A structural study of Jackson by engineer Phillip McCulloch indicates that in the roof of the gymnasium, the bottom chord of the second truss from the south end is fractured in two places and should be repaired before the next fall. There is no record of the repair.

The 1911 roof structure and the brickwork is deemed to be in good condition. However, McCulloch notes the walls need to be sealed in some places and monitored for loose bricks.

March 1995

A district official suggests a structural study be done at Jackson and Roosevelt in conjunction with bond projects, according to meeting minutes.

Bond money will eventually provide a new media center/computer lab and basement remodel at Jackson and a new cafeteria at Roosevelt.

September 1995

Medford-based Marquess & Associates Inc. submits a proposal to evaluate the structural integrity of Jackson and Roosevelt and develop options for strengthening entryways, chimneys, stairwells, brickwork, roofing, flooring and fire escapes.

Marquess & Associates structural engineers indicate Jackson is generally sound and with the modifications could continue to be used as a school.

The district rejects Marquess' recommendation to strengthen chimneys, stairwells, brickwork, roofing, flooring and fire escapes, electing to reinforce exits, entryways and parapets because they are the only seismic upgrades the city requires.

District officials indicate they will seek bond money to fund future seismic upgrades in 1999 or 2000. These bond measures never materialize.

June 1996

District officials announce Jackson and Roosevelt will be temporarily closed to conduct seismic upgrades on parapets, entryways and exits. A helicopter lowers steel through open roofs to reinforce the structures.

August 1996

In a letter to Marquess & Associates, Stan Robbins, superintendent of Adroit Construction, states that in order to complete the upgrades at Roosevelt, he needs to fasten braces to the existing parapet walls whose mortar is not cohesive enough to hold drilled anchors.

Later in the month, the district accepts a proposal by Adroit to support the parapets with steel braces, and the upgrade is completed.

November 2002

Voters defeat a $79 million bond measure to build a skills center, a middle school and make improvements to two high schools. Repairs to Jackson and Roosevelt are not specifically mentioned.

Feb. 16, 2006

A district facilities planning committee offers three options for a possible bond measure the following November: $99.5 million, $208.7 million and $222.4 million. Roosevelt Elementary is proposed for closure under one of the options. All three options retain Jackson and either remodel it or replace it. No engineering studies are conducted prior to the bond proposals.

April 9, 2006

Parents mount a campaign to eliminate closure of Roosevelt as a bond option.

May 2, 2006

The district facilities planning committee makes a recommendation never detailed in any of the bond options: Mothball Jackson Elementary and disperse its student body to Jefferson, Oak Grove, Roosevelt, Washington and Wilson schools.

May 16, 2006

Two hundred people attend a public forum to express support for keeping Jackson open.

May 30, 2006

A district-commissioned survey shows a bond measure would likely fail if it entailed closing Jackson.

June 6, 2006

The Medford School Board votes to save and revamp Jackson as part of the $189 million bond package it approves for the ballot.

Nov. 7, 2006

Voters pass the bond measure by a narrow margin. About $7.5 million each is earmarked for Jackson and Roosevelt.

April 2007

Portland-based DCI Engineers begins structural studies of Jackson and Roosevelt.

June 11, 2007

At the recommendation of DCI, the School Board orders the indefinite closure of Jackson and Roosevelt elementary schools two days before the school year ends. The engineering firm says the buildings could collapse under a heavy snowfall or earthquake.

Roosevelt students in grades kindergarten through third are assigned to Hoover Elementary for the upcoming fall. Roosevelt and Jackson pupils in grades fourth through sixth are sent to their respective middle schools. The district administration recommends sending Jackson primary students to the West Side School, but the school board is reluctant because of the cost of upgrading the building. The board asks the administration to look at other options.

June 19, 2007

The School Board decides to send Jackson students in kindergarten through third grades to the West Side School. It earmarks $350,000 to repair and upgrade the school for classes in the fall.

Aug. 21, 2007

The School Board selects a seven-member committee to recommend how to trim $12.8 million in overages off bond projects.

November 2007

A final decision on Jackson and Roosevelt is expected.

Share This Story