I’m writing to you about one of the most important issues today, and that is the Bend-La Pine Schools bond.

Nearly half of our district’s schools are over 30 years old. Included in the bond is a proposal to update these facilities. The bond funding would allow the district to replace leaking roofs, windows, upgrade heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing systems and includes energy-saving improvements.

In addition, the bond would allow the district to make health and life safety upgrades, including fire sprinklers, security systems, electrical wiring, intercoms and entrance redesign to provide improved visibility of visitor access. The list also includes security fencing at several school sites, playground safety improvements at several elementary schools and safety improvements at high school physical education spaces including gyms, courts and fields.

Many district facilities are at capacity. Many of the district’s classrooms were constructed decades ago. The bond will allow the community to add and renovate classrooms and support spaces at existing schools, increasing instructional spaces at high schools for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Something important to know is that this bond measure will not increase the current tax rate.

It is also very important to note that the dollars invested in our community as a result of this construction bond would sustain hundreds of jobs each year. Bend-La Pine Schools plans to hire local contractors to do the construction work associated with the bond to the greatest extent allowed by law.

Connie Druliner