Hillsboro schools win matching grant for fall construction bond
If voters pass Hillsboro School District's capital construction bond in November, the state will add a $6 million bow atop Hillsboro's $408 million package.
In a release on Aug. 3, the district announced a successful bond measure would trigger a $6 million matching grant from the Oregon Schools Capital Improvement Matching Grant Program. The extra funds would be used to purchase land; complete roofing and portable classroom replacements; improve or replace tennis courts; and make upgrades to elementary school gyms, among other projects.
"The most exciting thing about this bond is what it would mean for our students: safer and more secure schools; modern classroom environments; and expanding access to career-related learning opportunities in fields where there are high-wage, high-demand jobs in the Hillsboro community and beyond," Hillsboro School District Superintendent Mike Scott said in a separate statement.
Elementary school improvements would allow gyms to be used as community shelters in the event of a major earthquake, according to the release.
The district is preparing for a massive influx of students as construction of South Hillsboro continues. The district is planning for 2,000 new students over the next several years.
The full bond would build two new elementary schools — one in North Plains and one in South Hillsboro — as well as rebuild Brookwood Elementary School and expand Evergreen Middle School and Glencoe High School. It would also address a problem at eight elementary schools in the district, where their gyms are also used as cafeterias and auditoriums.
If approved, the bond would maintain the district's current property tax rate of $2.24 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which voters have been paying since 2006. Owners of a $200,000 home would pay about $37 a month, or $448 a year.
Only school districts with a bond on the ballot can apply for matching funds. Among larger, urban districts, grants of up to $8 million are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.