Since You Asked

Has the Medford School District decided what to do with the old South Medford High School once students move to the new South on Columbus Avenue? With the school district's budget shrinking, how will they be able to maintain two large buildings?

— Larry S., Jacksonville

The Medford School District has no definite plans for the current South Medford building, Larry, in part because of the financial crisis, said School Board President Eric Dziura.

The district's $189 million bond package didn't produce enough funds to pay for upgrading the current South Medford campus and consolidating school services there, as the district had hoped. The new high school building is under construction on Columbus Avenue and scheduled to open in the fall of 2010.

Ultimately, the district would like to consolidate maintenance, purchasing, warehousing, central administrators, School Board chambers and the superintendent's office at the 78-year-old campus.

The district can't afford to do that now, particularly, as you pointed out, because it faces a $6.9 million shortfall for this year alone.

Given the weak state of the real-estate market, it also appears unlikely that a sale of the property will happen anytime soon, Dziura said.

He said at some point, the district wants to hold some public meetings to discuss with residents their desires for the site. A date for those meetings has not been set.

The football stadium and basketball courts at SMHS will continue to play host to school and community sports events.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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