The mission of the Lost River Community Center is to serve our diverse rural population by encouraging health and wellness, providing educational opportunities, and establishing a foundation that not only enhances the quality of life, but allows for the personal growth of all ages. We’ve teamed up with the Lost River Booster Club, which recognizes that in order to support the growing and changing needs of our student body, and those of our entire population, it must pursue large, substantive, community-building projects.
Lost River Jr./Sr. High School sits between two towns, each with fewer than 900 people. Merrill and Mail are both primarily agricultural towns, with extremely successful schools, sports programming, and community service organizations. Our population is 60% Hispanic, 37% Caucasian, and 1% Native American and all of our students qualify for free breakfast and lunch due to the Community Eligibility Program. We celebrate our diversity and take pride in our enthusiasm. What we don’t have, however, is the space necessary for our various groups to grow and thrive as they’d wish. We need extra gym space, exercise facilities, meetings rooms, classrooms for robotics and an arts program. In short, we need a community center that serves our towns and school alike.
Currently, Lost River has a single indoor gymnasium and no classrooms to spare. If the gym is being used, particularly after the school day, teams from the AAU and YMCA do not have centrally located practice courts. Similarly, in inclement weather, Pop Warner, Little League, and others bye for limited indoor space. The Booster Club has long wanted to make use of available space on the Lost River Campus to add a second gym and potentially additional classrooms. As soon as the planning began, however, we saw what an amazing potential this building could have for the community as a whole. Meeting rooms, a kitchen, locker rooms, and many more ideas were added to the plan, taking into account current and future needs.
Such grand plans need money and we are pursuing various sources of fundraising. We are happy to report that the first stage of the project, the demolition of the deteriorated and unusable tennis courts, has been finished and the ground leveled. The work was done by the Klamath County School district. Additionally, the KCSD has pledged the time and labor of the district construction crew for much of the building work. We hope to raise additional funds and begin the project in May 2019.