The $27.5 million bond measure is not estimated to increase the current tax rate due to savings from refinancing previously issued bonds and projected growth in total taxable assessed values district-wide. In addition to this unique circumstance, the district has qualified for a $7.6 million matching grant from the State of Oregon’s OSCIM program. The district will only receive this grant if the measure passes.
“The board and the district respect the financial concerns of our community,” shared Tim Carpenter, Redmond School District Board Chair. “With thoughtful planning and actions this measure will not add taxes to our community. We believe this bond will protect our students and staff and preserve the life of our facilities while being good stewards of community resources.”
The board’s decision comes two years after the district’s narrow loss of a $70 million bond measure in 2018. After months of discussion and continued work from the district’s Community Bond Task Force, the district pursued polling the community in July which revealed 56% of the community are in favor of a bond.
The smaller $27.5 million package will address critical health, safety and security upgrades in all of the district’s schools. In addition, the package aims to make energy efficiency updates, modernize existing buildings with technology and infrastructure improvements. The bond would also increase student capacity at Vern Patrick Elementary and Tom McCall Elementary with the addition of six new classrooms at each school.
In 2024, the district will pay off remaining outstanding debt from general obligation bonds issued in 2004. The resulting reduction in the tax rate will allow Redmond School District to pursue their vision for the replacement of M.A. Lynch Elementary by asking voters in November 2024 to approve a second bond measure which would not increase the tax rate.
"By refinancing our bond debt and careful planning, we are able to provide much needed repairs to our schools for years to come without increasing the burden on taxpayers,” shared Pat Tellinghusen, a member of the district’s community bond task force. “This is a boost our students and teachers need when the pandemic makes education so difficult."
Health, Safety, and Security is a Priority
Some schools need health upgrades to improve air quality and mitigate asbestos. Every school in the district has communications systems, locks, front entries, fire panels, alarms, security systems or entryways in need of repair or replacement.
If the proposed measure passes, the school district would conduct air quality improvements, asbestos abatement, update fire safety systems, create secure entrances and upgrade security cameras and communication systems.
Plan for Growth, Create Future Capacity
The City of Redmond data shows that over the next 20 years, Redmond is expected to grow by 2.5 new residents per day. Future home building activity and population growth in certain neighborhoods is expected to outgrow the capacity of some schools.
If the proposed measure passes, the school district would build six additional classrooms at both Vern Patrick Elementary and Tom McCall Elementary to expand capacity for future population growth.
Many of our schools require upgrades to basic technology, collaborative learning spaces and infrastructure to give students and staff access to adequate learning tools and resources.
If the proposed measure passes, the school district would conduct improvements like new HVAC systems, plumbing, roofs and electrical systems. Expanded classrooms, learning spaces, services, student technology and technology infrastructure.
Aging School Buildings
The average age of a school in the Redmond School District is 45 years old. Some schools are nearly 100 years old that have aging electrical, heating, lighting and cooling systems.
If the proposed measure passes, the school district would conduct districtwide energy efficiency projects that would save thousands of dollars in annual maintenance and operating costs, which would be used for student learning.