West Linn-Wilsonville School Board moves forward with bond
The West Linn-Wilsonville School Board announced Aug. 5 during its annual board retreat that it will place a $206.8 million capital bond on the November ballot, in addition to asking for a renewal of its local option tax levy — which is a $1.50 tax per $1,000 of the assessed value for general operations and currently generates enough funds for about 80 teachers. Both the bond, which is a $3 tax per $1,000 of the assessed value, and tax levy are not expected to raise the current tax rate experienced by voters due to the retirement of existing bonds.
The capital bond, if approved, would fund big ticket items like safety and security projects, ensuring all WL-WV schools have secure entryways and bullet-proof glass. The bond would also address enrollment growth, relocate and expand Arts and Technology High School to the Athey Creek Middle School site, relocate and build Athey Creek on the district-owned property on Dollar Street and build a new primary school on the district-owned Frog Pond property in Wilsonville, among other projects.
"We as a district have been preparing for this and doing a lot of background for a couple years now as we consider the future needs of the district, as we continue to grow and move forward," said Tim Woodley, director of operations. "We are planning ahead I think quite appropriately."
In July, the school district received a $7.19 million Oregon Department of Education's Office of School Facilities grant.
The November ballot title will include the additional funds that can be used toward any of the projects outlined in the capital bond, though the money is earmarked to go toward projects at the current Athey Creek and Inza R. Wood middle school sites. If the bond passes in November, the district would be ineligible for this grant for another six years.
"It's where we've heard the most wonder from board and community: Did we put enough in the remodel of Athey for the new Art Tech to accommodate everything we would hope for with CTE (career and technical education) and making it into a real robust high school?" said WL-WV Superintendent Kathy Ludwig. "We also did hear that Wood Middle School, from several board members and the community, what else can we do to remodel and upgrade our oldest middle school given that we just brought on Meridian Creek a couple years ago and Athey Creek would get a new building?"
Woodley added that updating the buildings' system works and other upgrades with additional funds from the grant would increase the structures' longevity and reliability.
"That would support them (the buildings) and modernize them well into the future to be a complete package," Woodley said. "You'd feel like it was fully renovated when I got done with those two."
Also during the Aug. 5 school board retreat, school calendar adjustments were made at the middle school and high school level to ensure a more equal number of class days in each semester. To see the updated calendar, visit http://bit.ly/33kO41w.
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