JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — $32.4 million is what the Junction City School District says it will need to provide its students with the best educational environment they can. Bond measure supporters say it has been decades since these schools were given the attention they need. And they hope the community will band together, as it usually does, to provide children the education they deserve.
Junction City Superintendent Kathleen Rodden-Nord has been with the district for 18 years and got her start as principal of Laurel Elementary back in 1995. That was around the last time the district passed a school bond.
“I’ve been with the district for quite some time and have thought a lot about how sometimes our facilities really limit what we’re able to do for kids and our community,” said Rodden-Nord.
A facilities steering committee met last year and came up with a list of things that needed fixing and Laurel Elementary came out on top.
“We’re functioning in this school. We’re giving kids a great education here. It was built back in 1949 and so obviously, a lot of things have changed and and this school accomodates 500 students, which it was not originally built to do,” said School Board and Political Action Committee Chair Denise Pratt.
And that’s not the only issue.
“The other thing that I think has become more apparent to me in recent years is just how this facility is not really optimally designed for security,” said Rodden-Nord.
The bond money would allow them to replace the school as well as update nearly 20 year-old heating and ventilating systems and outdated communication and security infrastructure throughout the district.
Pratt said, “To educate the kids here, to continue with the quality of education that we feel like we’ve offered, we need to do this and it’s not going to get any cheaper. So the time seemed right and the need is great, so I would ask everyone to vote yes.”
Bond supporters said it’s not easy to ask for so much, but they hope the public understands.
A portion of the money would also rebuild the aging grandstands and lights at Junction City High School. Overall, the bond would cost a $180,000 home about an extra $407 a year. The Yes for JC Schools campaign kicks off next Monday at Laurel Elementary.