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Pioneer Building renovations up before city

Oregon Trail School District officials will appear before the city of Sandy’s planning commission on Monday, June 27, to discuss renovations to the Pioneer Building.

The renovation is part of an overall plan to transfer students from Cedar Ridge Middle School into the Pioneer Building, turning the former Sandy High School property into the new middle school. The district is currently in the conditional use permitting and design review stage of the renovation process.

District officials say CRMS students would likely move prior to the 2017-18 school year.

“Our target is not this coming school year, but the following school year,” said Tim Belanger, school district business director.

Located at 17100 Bluff Road, the Pioneer Building is the present site of the district’s Blended Learning Center, which provides students in grades 6-12 with a mix of online curriculum and traditional classes.

As part of the renovation, the estimated 100 students in the Blended Learning Center would stay at the same location, but would be housed in another building on the property. They would not have any access to CRMS, and would enter their program from Park Street, Belanger said.

Several interior improvements to the Pioneer Building are planned. Those include flooring updates, fresh paint and converting current office space into classroom space. The building is also being better configured for modern school security needs. The upstairs of the building will not be renovated at this time, as students will not be using the space, Belanger said.POST PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Built in the 1950s, The Pioneer Building is the current home to the Blended Learning Center. District officials plan to move students from Cedar Ridge Middle School into the space.

Outside, the parking lot is being redesigned to streamline traffic for school bus traffic and parents dropping off and picking up their children.

Neighbors will have a comment period to share their concerns, if any. Belanger notes that the CRMS move is not likely to negatively impact the community atmosphere, since the property’s use is essentially the same as before.

“The fact is the school has always been used as a school,” Belanger said. “It’s never stopped being used as a school.”

The city is in negotiations with the school district to buy the Cedar Ridge Middle School building, the surrounding land and the Olin Bignall Aquatic Center for about $3 million as part of Sandy’s larger urban renewal plan, which allows for the construction of a pool and recreation campus.

The planning commission meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 39250 Pioneer Blvd.