A concept image of the new academic building at Douglas High School created by Soderstrom Architects. This is a draft of the technical drawings and could differ from the final design.

WINSTON — School board members for Winston-Dillard School District made it clear during Wednesday’s board meeting that they would like more seating in the proposed Douglas High School gymnasium, which will be constructed this summer.

The initial cost estimate for the renovation and remodel of the high school was provided to the school board Wednesday, showed the project cost to be between $17 and $19.5 million.

Chris Giggy, construction manager with Integrity Management Solutions, pointed out these estimates were based on schematic level drawings by Soderstrom Architects. Another round of architectural drawings and cost estimates is expected in two months.

Giggy said the numbers presented to the board this week are likely to be the highest cost estimates the school board will see in the project and he would be “very surprised” if the cost does not come down.

The current designs allow seating for 500 people in the gymnasium. School board members agreed that they would like to see more seating.

Board member Brian West said the baseline for seating should be the seating that the current gym allows. Although it was not immediately clear how many people the gymnasium currently seats, it was estimated to be around 700.

“The face of the community is the gym,” board member Curt Stookey said, adding that the gymnasium can make or break the public’s opinion on how the money was spent by the district.

Construction at the school is expected to start in the summer.

An archeologist will be on site during excavation as the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office deemed the site had been a Native American village and was therefore culturally significant.

The school district will be working with the architect to make sure the cultural and historic heritage of the site will be displayed in the new building.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at McGovern Elementary School.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203.

Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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