News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Black Butte School to seek bond funding

The Black Butte School District has referred to voters a $2 million school bond measure that, if passed, would provide funds to repair and update aging facilities, replace the HVAC system and roof, and improve safety. The school board took the action on February 1, and voters will decide in the May 16 election.

The school has the opportunity to leverage voter-approved funding to double the impact. The District will receive a $2 million matching grant from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching Program (OSCIM) if voters pass the proposed bond measure.

If the proposed bond measure does not pass, the District would not receive the matching grant, and the proposed projects would not be completed.

The small school in Camp Sherman has built a strong reputation for academic excellence — but the school house itself needs help. According to the District, the roof and HVAC systems at Black Butte School have reached the end of their usable life.

The school was built in 1951, and many of the operating systems are outdated and inefficient. There is asbestos in the roof and flooring. Most of the windows are inoperable and can’t be opened to improve air circulation.

Voters have not voted on capital construction bonds for Black Butte School since 1963.

In an information sheet provided to patrons of the District, the board notes that, “Volunteers have helped with many facilities projects over the years, but the scope and complexity of the proposed upgrades require the expertise of licensed professionals. If the proposed bond measure passes, the bond and grant funds would pay for facilities upgrades at the school to improve safety and security, energy efficiency, and learning and operating environments.”

The District reports that, if the proposed bond measure passes, the funds would be used to:

• Replace the roof.

• Upgrade HVAC system.

• Remove asbestos.

• Replace flooring.

• Create a secure entry to better control access.

• Upgrade door locks/hardware.

• Install energy-efficient windows.

• Update restrooms.

• Improve and expand instructional space.

• Provide space for confidential meetings.

•?Site improvements, furnishings, equipment, bond costs.

Bond funds can only be used for costs associated with the projects listed in the bond proposal. Proposed bond funds cannot not pay salaries or operational costs.

April 25 is the deadline to register to vote in the May 16 election. Ballots will be mailed starting April 26, and must be deposited in an official Jefferson County Elections ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on May 16. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by May 16.


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