Medford School District Buys South Gateway Building for New High School Concept

The Medford School District announced the launch of the districts new high school of choice focused on project-based learning. The school, which will open for limited enrollment this spring, is a “hopeful option” for students who thrive in smaller settings with hands-on learning.

The Medford School District acquired the building at 1321 Center Drive to house the school, which the MSD School Board will name this spring with a recommendation generated through a collaborative, student-led process. The nearly 51,000 sqft building was originally built in 1994 and opened as a retail store called Ernst. Since then, the building has housed Asante, Century Link, and a call center. The building also has had a number of high tech upgrades over the years.

Officials say the building has an open floor plan supportive of project based learning and is in a convenient location, both for transportation purposes and access to local businesses for partnership opportunities. Another bonus that officials are excited about is the facility also has a greenhouse. MSD says they hope to be occupying the space in August 2023.

The school will serve students in grades 9-12 and will be led by the current staff at Central Medford High School, which has recently begun transforming into this project based learning school of choice.

“The new school will build on the incredible work already being done by Central staff and students, but will grow into an option for all students and families who desire a new and innovative approach to learning through project focused work,” said Superintendent Dr. Bret Champion.

The MSD Board previously approved a location on Airport Road. For a variety of reasons, MSD determined through the due diligence process that the location would not work for the school district. MSD canceled that transaction with no financial impact and feel strongly that this location is a better long term option for the new project-based learning high school of choice in the Medford School District.

Source: MSD549C

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