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  • 21 Oct 2014

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Culver School District considers new bond to repair buildings

MADRAS — A 28-member advisory committee is reviewing the state of Culver School District facilities and deciding whether to make another attempt to pass a bond.

The district failed in November 2011 to pass a $14.5 million bond for facility upgrades, new boilers, a new elementary wing and a new sports facility.

“We know that $14.5 million is too much. From the feedback we’ve gotten, people said there was too much ‘fluff.’ The athletic complex was viewed as not being needed, and they felt we should just stick to (upgrading) the academic buildings,” said Superintendent Stefanie Garber.

The advisory committee, which includes seniors, parents, staff, business owners and community members, has met once and toured the entire district campus, which includes a high school, middle school elementary school and district office.

Garber said they were given a list of things that need attention, and after the tour, added more items to the list.

The committee will make a recommendation to the Culver School District board on March 1. If it recommends a bond, and the board agrees, it would be on the May 21 ballot.

Garber said Culver’s challenge, compared to other school districts in Central Oregon, is that it let its last bond levy, for which residents were paying $4.44 per $1,000, expire in 2010.

Now, instead of extending a property tax people are already used to paying for a new bond, Garber said, “We’ll be starting from scratch.”

In the meantime, the district continues to cope with outdated electrical and heating systems. “Just this morning, our newer (1996) boilers were blowing black smoke. They’re all diesel. They’ve got to go and we need to get an HVAC system,” Garber said.