New K-12 Charter School Coming to Rockwood, Project To Begin April 2014, Completion 2015

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Sunrise Rockwood Charter School, Click to enlarge

Starting in April, demolition will begin to make way for construction of a new three-story, 53,000 square foot building for the Sunrise Rockwood Charter School at 19034 SE Stark Street in West Gresham.

The new 700 student K-12 school will have twenty-eight classrooms, a student commons, administrative offices, auditorium, food services, plus covered and open outdoor play areas.

Rockwood Community Development Corporation, the project's developer, says the Corbett Charter School Association has agreed on a lease to create the new school, which will border E. Burnside and S.E. Stark Street along the MAX Blue Line.

The success of the nationally acclaimed Corbett Charter School, which shares school buildings inside the Corbett School District, has created a waiting list of new students (mostly from east Multnomah county) wanting to enroll in the highly successful program. High demand and lack of space is one of the reasons for building the new school.

The deal will consolidate 11 properties into one large parcel of land and eliminate the former Original Taco House, United Battery, Metropolitan Pool & Spa, Western Union and Rockwood Motel.

Development will occur in three phases.

The first phase includes the demolition of existing structures on the land and construction of the new building, parking lots and driveways. Construction is scheduled to begin by mid-July 2014 and be completed before the start of the 2015-16 school year.

Phase two includes construction of two additional buildings. One building located along SE 192nd Ave. The other building located across from the school’s drop-off zone and outdoor play area, along the north property line.

The final phase will develop the remaining land west of the school along E Burnside St.

According to documents submitted to the City of Gresham the completed project is valued at nearly $7.4 million.

Robert Dunton, director of the Corbett Charter School, and former superintendent of the Corbett School District, says the lease agreement is contingent on a charter approval from the Reynolds School District, where the Rockwood property is located.

According to Reynolds School District spokeswomen Andrea Watson, Dunton has spoken informally with Reynolds Superintendent Linda Florence.

The Reynolds School Board rejected an earlier Corbett charter request in 2009 when the district was dealing with its own budget issues.

Dunton said the Rockwood building's design allows it to become a major piece of on-going renewal efforts underway in West Gresham.

The Rockwood-West Gresham Renewal Plan is a 20-year plan established by city-wide vote in November 2003 to invest in the revitalization of the Rockwood-West Gresham area. The plan provides funding for a variety of public improvements and programs to stimulate private investment and improve community conditions.