Medford School Dist. hoping to alleviate overcrowding

MEDFORD, Ore. – Medford School District has been talking about adding a new middle school for years. By 2021, it will finally become a reality.

“We are at or above capacity at several of our schools and there’s just not room,” Dr. Bret Champion, Medford School District Superintendent, said.

Elementary schools in the Medford School District are bursting at the seams. In two years, sixth graders will move to middle schools in the district and Central Medford High School will be converted into a third middle school.

“Move sixth grade students from elementary schools into the middle schools and free up space at our elementary schools,” Dr. Champion said.

Dr. Champion, who joined the district in July, made the announcement to parents Thursday.

“It’ll have the effect of keeping our middle schools about the same size they are now but reducing the size of our elementary schools,” Dr. Champion said.

The new middle school will move into the first and second floors of what’s currently Central Medford High School, the old South Medford campus. The next step will be finding a new campus for Central Medford High.

“Looking for space around Medford School district that would be a great permanent home for Central Medford high school,” Dr. Champion said.

While Dr. Champion admits feedback so far has been mixed, he says the move is for the best.

“The opportunities that sixth graders have at the middle school and the fact to optimize our facilities, seems like this is the right time to move forward on it,”Dr.  Champion said.

Going from two middle schools to three requires new zoning, but Dr. Champion says that issue won’t be figured out until spring.

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