by Mail Tribune Editorial Board
Thursday, May 2nd 2019
Facing the challenge of aging, inadequate school buildings that need upgrades, Central Point School District officials surveyed patrons to find out if they would support a bond measure to address those needs. The answer: not if it meant paying more taxes than they do now.
Administrators heard that message, sharpened their pencils and delivered: A proposed 30-year bond measure on the May 21 ballot would raise a maximum of $82 million without raising taxes above the current level. The district’s existing bonds, passed in 2000, will be paid off before the new levy is imposed, leaving the tax rate right where it is, at $1.15 cents per $1,000 assessed value.
District patrons — and most important, the district’s nearly 5,000 students — will get a lot for the money. Improvements are planned at every building in the district, which serves students in Central Point, Sams Valley and Gold Hill.
Electrical, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems will be replaced or improved. Safety upgrades will add cameras and more sophisticated lock mechanisms to reflect modern security concerns.
The needs are real: Three of the district’s schools were built more than 50 years ago. The average age of buildings in the district is 67 years. Mae Richardson and Jewett elementary schools do not have enough space to hold school-wide events. And the situation isn’t getting any better.
The district is the second-fastest growing in the county. Three in-town schools are above capacity now, and seven will be within the next few years.
District officials plan to use the money from the bond carefully to expand capacity without building brand-new schools, which would be much more expensive. The district wants to convert a former Asante property that housed Genesis Recovery Center into an early childhood learning center to take the pressure off three Central Point elementary schools.
District 6 voters should be pleased with the careful work that went into crafting this bond request. We recommend a yes vote on Measure 15-185.