Redmond school board approves $110M bond referendum
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

REDMOND, Ore. -- To meet the needs of a growing student population, safety and aging facilities, the Redmond School Board of Directors approved a bond referendum totaling $110 million at its regularly scheduled meeting on February 27.  The bond referendum will be included in the May 20 election.

Passage of the $110 million bond referendum would fund:

     1,400-seat high school ($80 million):

Build a new high school on the Elkhorn/Canal site that provides a long-term capacity solution for high school.  Funding to construct a stadium will be factored into the design phase of the project.

     600-seat elementary school ($20 million):

Build a new elementary school that can be used by the community. This will allow the relocation of Evergreen Elementary students to safe learning environments in other district schools.  Other community uses for the Evergreen facility will be explored.

     Repairs to existing facilities ($10 million):

The school district will invest $10 million into its aging schools to make needed repairs.  Building repairs will be specifically identified.

Note: If passed on May 20, the bond referendum will allow returning Hugh Hartman to a middle (6-8) school or K-8 school.  Superintendent will determine the use of the facility based on enrollment.

The decision for the bond referendum was made following an extensive study conducted by a 35-member Facilities Task Force, comprised of community members, parents, business representatives, senior citizens, students and district employees who began meeting in November.  Their charge was to review the district's programs, facilities and enrollment and assess immediate and future needs given the current rate of student population increases and the district's current capacity.

The committee completed its study and recommended to the Board on February 13 that a referendum would be necessary for the district to accommodate its growing student enrollment and maintenance needs. 

The school board utilized the results of the committee's work, community input received from one-on-one interviews, listening sessions, telephone surveys and community forums, and ultimately voted to call the election on May 20.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our community and our students,” comments Cathy Miller, School Board Chair.  “We appreciate the time and dedication of each of the task force members and would like to extend our thanks to those community members who provided feedback through the various public processes that were made available.”  

The Cost:

Estimates indicate that the passage of the $110 million referred bond would have a maximum impact of $1.55 to the tax role.  However, with the retiring 92-93 school bond in 2009, the net cost is reduced to $1.03 per thousand of assessed valuation (note that the market value of a home is much larger than the assessed value used to calculate taxes). 

According to the Deschutes County Assessor, the average assessed value for a residential property in the Redmond School District is $145,411.  For the 2007-08 fiscal year, approximately 16,427 accounts fit this criteria.  Using the average assessed value, the $1.03 increase equates to approximately $150 annually or $12.50 monthly.

More information regarding the bond referendum will be available at beginning March 3.