McKenzie School District Bond

Measure 20-321

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was a bond referred to the voters?

A Long Range Facilities Planning Committee, comprised of staff, parents and community members, met from September 2019 to February 2021 to review and assess the district’s facilities. A cornerstone of their work was a Facilities Assessment Report produced by Soderstrom Architects, with input from structural and mechanical engineers. Among the findings, the report noted that McKenzie Elementary School does not meet earthquake safety standards. According to the report, it would cost an estimated $6.3 million to repair and renovate McKenzie Elementary School, in addition to the cost of a seismic retrofit to meet earthquake safety standards.

The report also identified issues in other buildings on campus, including aging facilities and deferred maintenance projects. The committee decided to submit a bond measure to voters that, if approved, would pay for a new elementary school and other facilities upgrades.

If the measure is approved, the District would receive a $4 million matching grant from the Oregon School Capital Improvement (OSCIM) program to help pay for the bond projects. With this grant money, the District would have a total of $19 million to spend on facilities upgrades if the bond measure is approved.

Could the District use the $4 million matching grant at a later time?

No, OSCIM grants are awarded for a specific election. If the bond does not pass in May, the District would not receive the matching grant funds. The District could reapply for the grant in a competitive process for a future election but may or not receive it.

What would the proposed bond cost if it is approved?

The proposed bond is $15,215,000 and would be repaid over 25 years. If it is approved, property owners would pay approximately $1.92 per $1,000 of assessed property value (about $404 per year for a home assessed at the median assessed value in the McKenzie area of $210,174). If the bond does not pass, the tax rate would not increase, and the projects outlined in this proposal would not be completed.

Could the District’s regular maintenance budget address the proposed projects?

No. The district spends an average of $45,000 per year on repairs and maintenance of its facilities. The estimated cost of repairing and renovating McKenzie Elementary School -- not including a seismic upgrade or identified upgrades to other buildings --would be $6.3 million. Issues identified include deteriorating roof; HVAC, plumbing and mechanical systems that are beyond their life expectancy; and hazardous materials including asbestos file flooring, lead, mold, radon gas and PCBs.

How old is McKenzie Elementary School?

The elementary school was built in 1950, with additions in 1955, 1959, 1960 and 1966, using a combination of wood framed roofs and concrete masonry construction.

What safety and security upgrades would be made if the bond passes?

The security cameras, intercom system and fire alarm system would be upgraded if the bond measure passes. A secure entry vestibule would be added at the high school so staff could better monitor and control entry into the building. The open corridor of the science building would be enclosed to better control access and for greater energy efficiency. Access control gates also would be added to the campus entry.

How would oversight of bond funds be provided?

If the bond is approved, the District would convene a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to monitor the progress of the bond. The committee would report back to the School Board on a regular basis as a measure of accountability.