Featured Stories

Support our schools with 'yes' vote on Measure 34-248

The Tigard-Tualatin School District is vast, complex and growing, encompassing 34 square miles and serving more than 70,000 students.

Many of the schools in the district were built in the 1960s, and many of those are showing their age. As time has passed, those facilities have become less usable as education has changed, grown and advanced, especially in the realm of technology.

Besides those buildings’ physical limitations, they are also crowded, less safe than they ought to be, and in dire need of updating and/or replacement.

Because of those concerns and many others, the Tigard-Tualatin School District has put before residents the largest bond measure in its history, asking voters in November to approve Measure 34-248.

If approved, the measure would raise local property taxes by 37 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (equivalent to $111 per year for a home valued at $300,000) and raise a total of more than $291 million.

The list of projects this measure would fund is a long one, but it touches nearly all of the district’s schools and includes (in part):

n Construction of one brand new elementary school, which would serve the River Terrace neighborhood now under construction west and south of Bull Mountain, and reconstruction of two others (James Templeton Elementary School and Twality Middle School);

n Adding classrooms and capacity; expanding commons areas; adding and updating spaces for technology; and improving and expanding locker room and physical education areas and more at both Tigard and Tualatin high schools;

n Improving safety and security at Mary S. Woodward, Byrom and Bridgeport elementary schools, Fowler Middle School, and Tigard and Tualatin high schools;

n Purchasing technology devices for use at schools across the district;

n Completing improvements and repairs districtwide to roofs, parking lots, HVAC systems, tracks, tennis courts, and baseball and softball fields;

n Adding classroom flexibility at the Durham Center that would permit all TTSD alternative programs to be located at the same site;

n Purchasing new and replacement textbooks, and digital curriculum materials;

n Additions, repairs, replacements and upgrades at every one of the district’s elementary schools (excluding the largely autonomous MITCH Charter School) and Hazelbrook Middle School.

Again, the list is long and the price tag is big, and we encourage you to support it with a “yes” vote.

The TTSD administration, along with a committee of parents and staff, spent 2015-16 studying existing facility needs, enrollment projections, school construction costs and bond measure options to come up with the details that make up Measure 34-248.

Here’s why you should vote for it: The cities of Tigard and Tualatin are growing, and the district’s student populations are growing too. It’s projected that the rates of growth will continue and likely even accelerate over the next 20 years.

The kids that come with new families moving here will need classroom space to be educated, technology in those classrooms that reflects the ever-changing job market, and teachers qualified to teach them. They also need to be safe during their education.

This proposal should handle the district’s expected growth for at least 10 years, sets the table for even more effective implementation of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education throughout the district, and helps continue the good and important work of our local educators.

Please vote “yes” for Measure 34-248.

Miles Vance is the editor of the Times serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood and the Beaverton Valley Times.