by Kaylee Tornay of the Mail Tribune
Central Point voters approved an $82 million bond measure, unofficial preliminary election results showed Tuesday night.
The “yes” vote led 57.6% to 42.4%, with a total of 4,380 cast.
“We’re thrilled,” said Autumn Chadbourne, a Central Point School Board member. “We couldn’t really be happier.”
The bond will pay for renovations, replacements and upgrades across the district. School District officials have said their buildings are outdated to accommodate the needs both of changing educational systems and a rapidly growing student body.
Three campuses were constructed before the first lunar landing in 1969.
Jewett and Mae Richardson Elementary schools will receive upgrades that will enable them to host school-wide events or assemblies, as they’ve outgrown existing spaces.
“I think the thing that really made a difference was working with some really committed parents who really believed in the vision, they saw the need,” Chadbourne said.
The district has added portable classrooms, but three of its elementary schools are already considered over capacity. Another seven are anticipated to reach that within the next few years.
Property owners’ tax bills won’t see an increase as a result of the bond, which officials believe contributed to its chances of passing.
“(Voters) are telling us they value the school district and ... they’re proud of their schools, proud of what we’re doing and they want to invest in their schools,” said Spencer Davenport, financial officer for the school district, in March. “They just don’t want to invest more than what they’re paying now.”
After the district refinanced its bond passed in 2000, the levy rate fell from $1.75 to $1.15 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Community surveys that the district commissioned showed that voters would not support a bond that raised that levy, but would approve an amount equal to or less than it.
Another part of the bond involves preparing another building for use as an educational facility. In June 2018, District 6 acquired a nearly 7-acre property that once belonged to the Asante Health System.
The former site of the Genesis Recovery Center at the end of South Second Street is slated to become an early childhood education center for kindergarten and first-grade students. Parents who have children in the Jewett, Mae Richardson and Central Point Elementary school attendance areas will be able to opt in.
All schools will also see upgrades to security measures, which will range from installing more fencing to adding cameras to changing entryways and traffic flows.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.