Eagle Point school bond fails

    Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneShady Cove School expansion was to be part of a $95 million bond being decided by Eagle Point School District voters.

    By Kaylee Tornay

    Mail Tribune

    Voters rejected Eagle Point School District’s $95 million bond measure Tuesday.

    Late returns showed the bond request going down 7,612 to 3,017, or 71.6 percent to 28.3 percent.

    “I believe I can definitely speak for the board and say that we are disappointed,” said Nita Lundberg, chair of the Eagle Point School Board. “Eagle Point School District 9 definitely needs funding for safety, new buildings, modern innovation and energy efficiency.”

    In the months leading up to the election, board members such as Lundberg and district officials such as Allen Barber said they had heard mostly positive reactions to the bond measure.

    Concerns mostly centered on objections to tax increases or a desire for specific projects, such as wrestling facilities for Eagle Point Middle School students.

    Lundberg said it was too early for her to know why voters rejected the bond.

    “I haven’t had enough time for the results to truly sink in to discern perhaps where we might have been able to target and glean some stronger numbers,” she said.

    “Clearly, we didn’t see the numbers that we were hoping for. I have no idea at this moment where specifically we might have done something different in our campaign.”

    The 31-year bond would have added 89 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to property tax bills. On a $200,000 home, that would have been a $178 annual tax increase.

    The Eagle Point School Board voted to go out for the bond in July. The district’s bond committee, which included School Board members, district officials and community residents, visited every campus in the district and held a number of public meetings.

    Table Rock Elementary School’s lower campus was to have been replaced, with major renovations planned at Shady Cove School and the Table Rock Elementary upper campus. Eagle Point High School would also have benefitted from the bond. The money was to have funded new CTE facilities, a new culinary arts suite and an animal science lab.

    Safety was another of the bond’s priorities, establishing keyless entry and interior door locks. District-wide, HVAC systems would have been improved and all asbestos and outdated piping removed.

    With the bond defeated, Lundberg said the board will have to consider another way to deal with those projects.

    “We’ll have to take the funding conversation back to our work session table and really look at options for the future of improving those items,” Lundberg said.

    Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

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