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Health and Science High School finds home in the Capital Center with district's $15 million purchase

A lengthy search to find a home for the Beaverton School District's Health and Science High School has ended.

On Monday, the Beaverton School Board gave the go-ahead to purchase the Capital Center for $15 million plus closing costs.

Bond money will be used to buy the 190,000-square-foot facility, located at 18624 N.W. Walker Road. The site includes the larger building along with a freestanding 10,000-square-foot cafeteria.

Health and Science High School, the district's newest options program, opened on the site in the fall and houses 120 ninth-graders in 20,500 square feet. By the 2010 school year, 100,000 square feet of space will be needed for the program, which will then serve students in the sixth through 12th grades.

Bud Moore, district deputy superintendent for operations and support services, said the district has been searching for a home for the newest options school for the last three years.

The property is owned by the Oregon Board of Higher Education and Portland Community College. It was formerly used as a Tektronix campus.

Moore said two independent firms appraised the building, one placing the value at $16.7 million, the other at $17.4 million.

'The buildings themselves are approximately 30 years old,' he said.

Although they are generally in good shape, Moore said the district would have to complete some deferred maintenance on the building. That maintenance, estimated at between $5 million to $6 million, could be spread over the course of the next four to five years, he said.

Moore said his only concern is that Wells Fargo has a lease agreement for the building's on-site cafeteria, which doesn't expire until 2010.

'They do have an option for extending that lease,' Moore said.

Still, Moore said it's a problem the district can work around.

Meanwhile, Portland Community College will lease back approximately 66,000 square feet through Dec. 31, 2009, renting the site for a monthly cost of $1 per square foot.

School officials estimate the costs of building a new 100,000-square-foot building would be more than $25 million, excluding the cost of the land. It's estimated it would take about three years to develop a site plan and construct such a structure.

'It's exciting to have a home for this new program,' board member Tom Quillan said after the purchase.

More information about the program is on the Web at www.beavertonK12.or.us.