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District leaders, PAC spread the word about ballot bond

Leaders at the Estacada School District are encouraging residents to learn more about the bond measure that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

There will be two town hall meetings to discuss Measure 3-501, a $55.1 million general obligation bond that would be paid back within 30 years. Additionally, the district is eligible for $4 million in match money from the state of the bond is passed.

Town hall meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, and Monday, Oct. 10, at the Estacada High School Commons, 355 N.E. Sixth Ave.

The meetings will also include student-led tours of the high school, where the bond would fund major renovations.

In addition to significant updates at the high school, the bond would also address deferred maintenance at all school buildings.

The district’s current bond measure, which was used to build Clackamas River Elementary School and pay for significant work at Estacada Junior High School, was passed in 1999 and will be paid off in 2025.

The 2016 bond would provide funds for extensive work at Estacada High School, since it didn’t receive any renovation with funding from the previous bond measure.

There are many elements of the high school building that district leaders hope to see updated, which was originally built in 1962.

In order to make the building more secure and seismically resistant, the spine of the building would be demolished and rebuilt. In addition to making the building safer, this new space would provide a flexible career technical education area, media center, new science laboratories and collaborative learning areas.

The roof of the high school would receive a 150 kilowatt solar system to reduce operating costs and increase energy efficiency, and classrooms will also be remodeled and provided with energy-efficient windows.

The updated high school would also be designed to work as an emergency shelter for the community.

The new bond would raise the current tax rate from $2.02 to $2.19 per $1,000 of assessed property value. If the measure passes, the owner of a home with an assessed value of $250,000 would pay $547.50 a year, or an increase of $42.50 a year, or $3.54 per month, over what they are already paying.

Recently, a political action committee called “Yes on 3-501” was formed in order to increase awareness of the bond measure.

David Bugni, a member of the committee, believes that the 2016 bond would be a valuable continuation of the 2000 bond.

“That bond focused on the three elementary schools and the junior high, with the intent that a future bond would cover an appropriate remodel of the high school,” he said. “(The 2016 bond) would complete the remodel of all district schools.”

Bugni encourages everyone to learn more about the bond, whether it’s by attending a town hall meeting or visiting www.yeson3-501.org.

The website, put together by the committee, features a video and documents such as the facilities master plan.

“There’s different ways to learn the information,” Bugni said.

Bugni said the tours of the high school during the town hall meetings will be particularly valuable.

“If you aren’t trained for it, you aren’t necessarily going to see the need for seismic upgrades, but you can see classrooms that have been condemned because of roofing issues,” he said.

Town Hall meetings

The Estacada School District is hosting two town hall meetings to discuss Measure 3-501, a general obligation bond that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. Meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, and Monday, Oct. 10, at the Estacada High School Commons, 355 N.E. Sixth Ave.

Learn more

To learn more about how funds from the bond would be used, visit www.yeson3-501.org

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