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DISTRICT NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2016


Gresham-Barlow School Board votes to lower amount of proposed school bond

Gresham-Barlow School District receives $8 million matching grant from state for school construction to help stretch local dollars and address urgent school building needs

The Gresham-Barlow School Board voted on August 4 to reduce the amount of the proposed November school bond from $299 million to $291 million. The school board made the decision after learning the district will receive $8 million from the state of Oregon for school construction if the school bond is approved by voters.
 
“The school board made a decision to lower the school bond amount based on what we heard from the community,” said Chair Carla Piluso. “We know that Gresham-Barlow residents want to support their schools but are also sensitive to how that impacts their family budget. The state matching grant allows us to lower the cost of the school bond to the taxpayer while maintaining the complete bond package of high need projects identified by the Bond Planning Committee.”
 
The school district learned in July that it is one of a select group of school districts eligible to receive the matching grant. Of the 11 school districts selected, the Gresham-Barlow School District received the highest grant amount of $8 million. The next highest grant was awarded to the Sherwood School District for $4.5 million.
 
“This is an exceptional opportunity for our community,” said Chair Piluso. “This is the first year the state of Oregon has chipped in funds to help communities pay for critical school improvements. Thanks to the $8 million grant we won’t shoulder the cost of this school bond alone. If the bond is approved, the entire state would help pay for our community’s school bond projects."
 
The $291 million school bond will be placed on the November 2016 ballot. The cost to taxpayers is estimated at $1.89 per thousand of assessed value. According to Multnomah County, the average assessed value of a home in the school district is approximately $200,000. An individual with a home with an assessed value of $200,000 would pay an additional $31.50 a month.
 
Every school building in the district would be impacted by the school bond. Projects include safety and security upgrades, improvements to technology infrastructure, replacement of roofs, and heating and cooling system upgrades.
 
School improvements in the package would allow the district to update its vocational-technical programs, as well as its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classes that help prepare students for careers and college.
 
Major renovations would occur at Gresham High School and Sam Barlow High School. North Gresham and East Gresham Elementary Schools would be replaced. Classrooms would be added to Hall and Hollydale Elementary Schools. The school bond would include renovations to Deep Creek Elementary School so it can become a K-8 school.
 
More information about the proposed school bond is on the district’s website at www.gresham.k12.or.us.

 
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