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Bethel Schools to See Improvements

EUGENE, Ore. — The cheers are still resonating throughout the Bethel School District, as it starts to plan for the millions of dollars it will see from the approved school bond.

It won’t start to see the funds until January, but now that it knows it’s getting them, it’s going to get the ball rolling on a design for two new elementary schools.

“I was so excited last night and I was just shaking and all of the teachers were calling each other and texting each other and just screaming,” said Alyson Young, Fairfield Elementary teacher.

Voters approved a $49 million bond to make major improvements throughout the district. That means Bethel’s two oldest elementary schools, Fairfield and Malabon, will be replaced.

“It’s been really tough. We have leaky pipes. We literally have had buckets in the library collecting drips that the kids have to walk around,” Young said.

On the top of the list is textbooks and technology. We recently showed you just how bad they are, listing Bill Clinton as the current president.

“We will have committees of teachers and parents come together to review materials and make plans so we can make those purchases before the school year is out,” said Colt Gill, Bethel School Superintendent.

The architect will be hired, and if all goes well construction could start by summer.

“We will get input from our community and staff,” Gill said.

Work on the new Willamette High School science wing will also begin along with improving security.

“It feels really good to have the community invest in education,” Gill said.

“I think they are going to have the best learning experience possible,” Young said.

And while it could take two years before the new schools are built, students know all of this adds up to success.

The Bethel bond will not increase anyone’s current tax rate. Old bonds are being paid off and the new bond will take their place at the same tax rate–$1.61 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

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