Our company, Freres Lumber Co., wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the people who work for us. More than 450 employees strong, Freres Lumber relies on its community as much as the community relies on us. We care deeply about our employees, their families and the generations of Santiam Canyon families to come. We are strong supporters of the Santiam Canyon School District in Mill City, Ore., and its students.
The schools’ needs
We have witnessed new growth in the Santiam Canyon and recent success in the schools, giving us reason to support the upcoming school bond measure. The current junior/senior high school building needs to be replaced. It lacks the space to meet current needs and will not support the continued growth of our canyon. Adding classrooms, gym and cafeteria space will allow the district to offer programs to our youth in a facility they deserve. The proposed project would construct new junior/senior high school buildings for additional classrooms; it would also add a second gym at the high school and a cafeteria at the elementary school.
We have toured the Santiam Canyon schools to witness their need first hand. In our meetings with school leadership and project managers, we’ve looked through the district’s many construction plans ranging from $32.9 million to $17.9 million. We agree with Santiam school leadership that the selected $17.9 million project offers the facilities the School District needs, at a cost that could be borne by the community.
It’s innovative, yet cost-effective; it meets the needs to improve school facilities, yet isn’t excessive; it adds needed space in a construction type that is easy to maintain and lends itself well to local wood construction. Freres is looking at all possible ways to see how we can contribute to the project.
Vote 'Yes' for our future
Passing a bond of any sort in any community is a challenge. We know the needs, issues and unique challenges that our Santiam Canyon community faces. In looking both short- and long-term, we earnestly agree that investing in this school improvement plan is the best solution for our youth and for this community for generations to come. In a community as small as ours, every vote counts. We urge you to vote “yes” May 21 for Santiam Canyon Schools on Measure 22-178.
At Freres Lumber, we want to see this school bond passed for the long-term health and well-being of our community. Freres leadership has agreed that we will help with the project costs in order to decrease your costs, and to demonstrate our support for the Santiam Canyon. We are already testing and developing ways to construct cost-effective gymnasium solutions.
We would like to recognize that the timber industry has always played a large part in providing public funding to local rural projects. In the past, projects like this would have been funded through timber harvest receipts and a bond like this may not have been required. Due to reluctance to manage our local forests and ensure that the revenues generated by those harvests stay in our local communities, it now falls upon the members of this community, like Freres Lumber, to support our schools and our local infrastructure. This project provides a creative opportunity to invest local timber dollars in our schools again.
SCSD is using an innovative approach to this construction project in order to keep costs down for the community. Their architectural plans include using our new product, Mass Plywood Panel (MPP), in floors, walls, etc. Freres plans to donate a good portion of the MPP needed for this project.
There won’t be another opportunity like this, under this school leadership, at this great value.
The only way Freres can help with this project is if the community votes “yes” for it.
A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of Canyon youth, of investing in our local infrastructure and it’s an opportunity to capitalize on a rare timber dollar partnership.
While other county revenues may be siphoned to the State’s general fund, this bond is targeted specifically to your local community and to the benefit of Santiam Canyon children. This is a special opportunity, a tax that would be locally implemented, with your money directly benefiting the Santiam Canyon community now and into the future. If you do your part in voting “yes,” we promise to do our part in providing both in-kind and cash support for the project.
Be proactive. There are a number of ways you can learn more:
• Reach out to “Supporting Santiam Students,” a group of dedicated citizens working on your behalf. Email volunteerforSSS@gmail.com.
• Check out the Santiam Canyon School District website for school bond information and concept photos: www.santiam.k12.or.us
• Attend a community forum; ask questions. Dates to be published on school website, in the local newspaper and radio outlets.
• Call the school Superintendent Todd Miller—he has an open-door policy and can answer your questions. Miller can be reached at 503-897-2321 or firstname.lastname@example.org