Home » News » News » Bond 2018 » Board Close to Decisions on School Bond Measure

Board Close to Decisions on School Bond Measure

After 18-month community-engaged process, board will make decisions this month on bond measure for November ballot  

Eugene School District 4J’s school board is considering referring a bond measure to voters on the November 2018 ballot to replace and improve aging school buildings and learning materials. Final decisions are slated for August 15.

The potential bond measure has been planned for several years and examined in-depth for 18 months in a thorough, thoughtful, community-engaged process, including a series of community forums and surveys.

More than $1 Billion in capital needs have been identified in the district, including facility repairs and improvements, capacity to address overcrowding, security and safety, technology, and more. Community input has helped inform the updating of the district’s long-range facilities plan and the potential project list for a bond measure that would address some, but not all, of the identified capital needs.

Capital improvements under consideration include:
(click arrows to expand) 

Replace three aging school buildings—North Eugene High School, Edison Elementary School, Camas Ridge Elementary School


North Eugene High School’s 1957 building is aging. It was designed for smaller high school classes than today and is in the poorest condition of 4J’s four high schools. Edison Elementary School is 4J’s oldest school building, built in 1926. It is in poor structural and seismic condition, and is poorly designed for education today. Camas Ridge Elementary School, built in 1949, is one of 4J’s oldest and poorest condition school buildings.

New buildings for North Eugene, Edison and Camas Ridge would support modern teaching and learning activities, would be efficient and sustainable, and would be designed with safety and school security in mind. The new high school building would include dedicated spaces for career technical education, preparing students with career skills for the jobs of the future.

Address overcrowding and projected growth in the Sheldon region with construction to increase elementary school capacity 


More space for elementary students is needed in the Sheldon region. The region’s elementary schools are currently the largest in Eugene, with three neighborhood schools enrolling 525–585 students and one language immersion school enrolling about 460 students. Population and student enrollment in the area is growing and is projected to continue to grow.

Completing the planned expansion of Gilham Elementary School would add classrooms and increase capacity. For greater capacity increase, a new elementary school constructed on district-owned property on Kinney Loop, near Coburg Road and Crescent Ave., would serve families and community members in the northeastern area of Eugene and relieve enrollment pressure on other area schools as the population grows.

Renovate facilities for program relocations


Moving programs—such as Yujin Gakuen, Corridor, Chinese immersion, NATIVES program, and ECCO—requires building renovations to provide appropriate, high-quality learning spaces for the relocated programs.

Improve school safety and security  


Security and safety upgrades needed in our schools include securing school entryways, fencing school site perimeters, upgrading fire alarms and improving security technology.

Resiliency upgrades when building new schools—such as greater seismic resistance, water access and power generation—would help them weather a disaster and be able to continue school operations and/or serve as disaster shelters and relief sites in case of an emergency like an earthquake or major storm. Additional earthquake safety upgrades may also be needed at current schools that were constructed 50–70 years ago.

Improve facility equity, access and health


Title Nine requires equal access to high-quality facilities for girls and boys. Improvements are needed to improve equity and access to school facilities for instruction, athletics and support areas; enhance special education facilities and equipment; and upgrade kitchen facilities to improve school food service. Title IX 

Support career technical education


Vocational/technical education has evolved and entered the 21st century. It is now called career and technical education (CTE). Career and technical education provides students hands-on learning opportunities to master academics and technical skills within courses that interest them and can lead to rewarding careers, including in high-wage, high-demand fields. These are not the vocational programs of the past—students can gain career-related experience, industry certifications and college credits. What’s more, they gain career skills for the jobs of the future.

Enhancing career and technical education spaces and equipment at every high school would support improving and expanding these programs that help students graduate prepared for college, careers, and life.

Replace aging school buses


School buses must be replaced over time as equipment ages (typically after 13–14 years of service) to keep the student transportation fleet safe and efficient. The state reimburses 70% of student transportation costs, including bus purchases, so every dollar spent to buy school buses returns additional funds to be used for transportation needs.

Adopt curriculum


Many of 4J’s instructional materials are out of date. Modern curriculum materials are needed to align with updated state standards, provide the highest quality instructional materials for student learning, and help ensure students graduate ready for college and careers. Updated learning materials are needed in areas such as English language arts, social studies, health and the arts.

Modernize technology


Today’s students and schools need access to up-to-date technology. With constant advances in technology, learning in today’s schools is different from what it was even 10 years ago. Technology updates are needed to improve infrastructure and operations, and to ensure greater access for students in every school to technology that helps them learn and prepares them for jobs in the modern economy.

Provide critical maintenance, repairs and improvements


Worn-out roofs. Corroded pipes and cracked pavement. End-of-life heating systems and controls. Inefficient windows that let in the cold. Buildings across the district need critical repairs and improvements to keep students warm, safe and dry, and protect the community’s investment in our schools.

The school district needs to make basic, large-scale repairs to school buildings that are over 50 years old, much like repairs to a home. Like with home maintenance, it will cost more to fix these problems later if they’re not taken care of now. Investments in energy efficiencies such as upgraded windows, insulation and modern heating systems save taxpayer dollars in the long run. Without bond funds, repairs and maintenance come out of the budget the district uses for classroom education.

 

Following the final community forum on August 1 and work session on August 8, the board will hold a final discussion of the potential bond measure and make final decisions on August 15. The board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene. Regular board meetings are open to the public, include time for public comment, and are broadcast live on KRVM 1280-AM.

 

More about the potential bond measure  

This entry was posted in Bond 2018, Featured, News. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.