HERMISTON - The School Board approved new elementary school boundaries for the Hermiston School District and board member Dave Conklin resigned during Tuesday's meeting.

The decision to realign the grade school boundaries will affect about 77 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, starting next school year, according to Superintendent Darce Driskel.

He said changes to the boundaries were necessary to adjust for overcapacity issues at Desert View and Sunset elementary schools.

Driskel said he hopes the changes will help the district accommodate more students.

"The boundaries were formed to allow for future growth," he said, noting the district is expanding faster than anyone predicted.

As of March 29, the district had 4,416 students, 153 more than March 2003.

Still, Wilson said the district probably won't have to build another school until 2018, according to a capacity study he presented to the board. But he advised the board to form a committee that could advise the district on any future building issues.

Also Tuesday, Dave Conklin, a School Board member the past three years, offered a resignation letter. He said he is moving out of the area this summer and can not continue on the board.

Board Chairman Tom Ditton said the board would appoint a person to finish the one year left on Conklin's term. Anyone interested should submit a letter of interest to the district before May 15, Ditton said.

The board also approved a Hermiston High School field trip to Italy in July 2005, led by the Education First Tour Company. About a dozen students are expected to sign up for the trip, said Ethan McDonald, a social studies teacher who is organizing It.

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