Pioneer Alternative High School in Prineville to celebrate first permanent home with ribbon-cutting

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — Students and staff at Pioneer Alternative High School have a permanent location to call home for the first time in school history, and a ribbon-cutting event is planned Wednesday to celebrate the milestone.

The brand-new building is located next to Crook County High School on Lynn Boulevard and opened to students and staff on Dec. 5.

The school district will celebrate with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Prineville Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday from 8:30-9 a.m. 

Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson says she is is excited about the new facility. The school district purchased land next to CCHS several years ago, when property prices were low, which ended up being the ideal location for PHS. 

“Pioneer offers an alternative option for students,” Dr. Johnson said. “It’s a nontraditional, small environment, where students receive more one-on-one instruction from staff. Its location next to CCHS allows for easy access to Career & Technical Education and other programs, and the opportunity for better collaboration and support with CCHS.”

The 9,500-square-foot facility offers six classrooms dedicated to core classes, Career & Technical Education, credit recovery, counseling services, a GED testing center, and a kitchen.

The long-term goal was to build a new campus for PHS through a future school bond measure, but funding became available sooner during COVID when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. The project’s estimated total cost is $4.1 million.

With the collaboration of a local contractor and our work crew program, landscaping is to be completed this spring.

“It’s been a win-win for the district as PHS has been sharing a campus with our newest school, Steins Pillar Elementary School,“ said Dr. Johnson. “It gives Pioneer students a better learning environment and a space they can be proud of.”

PHS first opened its doors during the 2005-2006 school year, with 57 students. The 2022-23 school year enrollment is 76 students, and graduation rates have steadily increased. The PHS Class of 2021 boasted a 77% rate, up from 28% in 2019. The 2022 graduation numbers, to be released later this month, are expected to be higher. 

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