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Voters support $680 million Beaverton school bond measure

Funding to go toward new, renovated school buildings, technology


by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Beaverton School District Superintendent Jeff Rose shares his excitement with board members Linda Degman (left) and LeeAnn Larsen as initial election results show voters approving a $680 million capital bond measure. Times Photo: Jaime ValdezTuesday night's primary election results were all Superintendent Jeff Rose needed to see to declare a victory for the Beaverton School District, as voters showed solid support for a $680 million bond measure dedicated to rebuilding, renovating and improving schools.

Washington County Elections Division returns as of 9:52 p.m. showed 16,022, or 52 percent, of voters supporting the measure, with 14,700, or 48 percent, of voters rejecting the funding measure.

Rose, who was hesitant with a slightly narrower lead for the measure earlier in the evening, sounded more confident by 10:30 p.m.

"We're at a place where, looking at the numbers of it all, we are comfortable in knowing we're victorious in this," he said from McMenamins Cedar Hills Pub on Southwest Jenkins Road, where about 25 district officials and bond measure supporters gathered Tuesday night. "We've been cautiously optimistic throughout. Our goal was not to win by a certain margin. The goal was for this bond to pass. I think everybody in this room, even the campaign, is able to walk away with a feeling of support and that we've created financial stability for years to come for the Beaverton School District."

The bond measure targets 27 projects, including a new high school in the proposed South Cooper Mountain development area, a new elementary school in North Bethany, replacing the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, and rebuilding Vose, William Walker and Hazeldale elementary schools. Bond funds would also go toward land purchases, enhanced security and technology and repairing schools throughout the district.

The bond proposal includes $109 million for the new high school, $3 million to acquire around 10 acres for an elementary school in the South Cooper Mountain area, $25 million for a new North Bethany elementary school and $51.6 million for an 850-student middle school on the former Teufel Nursery property adjacent to the fledgling Timberland housing development.

Based on the retirement of bonds from a 2006 bond measure — the Great Recession precluded a four-year follow-up bond in 2010 — a new bond measure this year would not increase what homeowners currently pay for school bonds.

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Flanked by Beaverton School District board members and staff, Superintendent Jeff Rose zeroes in on Tuesday night's election results for the district's $680 million bond measure from a private room at McMenamins Cedar Hills Pub. Waiting for election results to update on Tuesday night, LeeAnn Larsen, co-chairwoman of the district's bond committee and a school board member, liked the numbers she was seeing.

"I feel good," Larsen said. "I'm excited this passed. The district really needs this. The repairs, the (student) capacity issues, I'm glad voters understood that."

Linda Degman, board member and co-chairwoman of the bond measure committee, said she wasn't too surprised that voters came through for a measure to enhance quality learning in the district.

"The community in Beaverton always supports Beaverton schools," she said. "People understand the need for a bond measure, and those engaged in the district see what the need is. They realize students deserve to have a great learning environment."