REDMOND — The Redmond School Board unanimously decided Wednesday night to put a $69.7 million bond on the November general election ballot.
If approved by voters, the bond would pay to completely replace M.A. Lynch Elementary, which was built in 1965 and suffers from structural problems, including a flat roof which sags under heavy snowfall.
In January, Superintendent Mike McIntosh told The Bulletin that renovating the building would cost $21 million and rebuilding the structure would cost $27 million.
The bond also includes money for safety and security upgrades throughout the district, an aspect that some community members at the meeting praised.
“I don’t believe there’s any appropriate price tag that we could put on the safety of our children,” said ShanRae Hawkins, a local business owner who said she had two kids at Tumalo Community School.
Hawkins was one of eight members of a pro-bond political action committee that was present. Also present was former Redmond mayor and Deschutes County commissioner Alan Unger.
“I want us as a community to say we stepped up and we made sure that our buildings are safe … and we are doing what we need to do,” Unger said.
The bond would also cover many modernization and energy-saving projects in various schools, including an extensive $11 million remodel of Obsidian Middle School.
Jeremy Wright, a consultant for school boards in Oregon, told the board that his team conducted a telephone poll of 400 likely voters in the district in February and July. He said the amount of respondents who supported the bond jumped 10 percent from July to February, while respondents that did not fell 4 percent.
Director of Fiscal Services Kathy Steinert said if the bond is passed in November, property owners would pay an additional $0.54 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Only four of the five board members were present. Board member Travis Bennett was absent.
Board member Johnny Corbin wasn’t happy about the size of the bond but said it was necessary.
“What we need to do has got to be done,” Corbin said. “If not today, then it’s going to cost us more tomorrow.”
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