It appears voters will approve a measure to provide $250 million in bonds for improvements to Bend-La Pine schools.
The measure was passing 59%-41% according to unofficial results from Deschutes County Wednesday morning.
The bonds are earmarked for safety and security improvements in all the schools and renovations in some of the older schools. Here’s how the money would be spent if voters say yes to measure 9-155.
If voters approve, new dead bolts will be installed this school year on all 6,000 doors in all Bend-La Pine schools.
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“The first thing you notice on these locks is that you can see from across the room that this door is locked or unlocked. That’s a big cue in a moment of crisis,” said Steve Cook, Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent.
“If there’s something happening, if an intruder gets into a school, visually you want to be able to see that because a lot of decisions need to be made very quickly and that’s a very easy indicator. Secondarily, the fact this door lock doesn’t need to be locked with a key that’s only in the hands of an adult means any individual in a classroom can be behind a locked door very quickly. We would train to that for students and staff,” Cook said.
You can see updated results below. Look for Measure 9-155.
In addition to deadbolts on every door in every school, some of the older schools will have their main offices re-designed to improve visitor management and security in front entries.
“We’ve got cameras throughout schools. We’ve got secure vestibule entries into each of our schools. You can gain entry to the school office but you can’t get past that. Those will continue. That technology will be in all of our schools. I don’t believe we are in the market for metal detectors,” Cook said.
All 33 schools in the district are slated for maintenance, additions and modernizations to heating, ventilation, cooling and lighting systems.
Bend High School, where some classes take place in the hallways because the 70-year-old classrooms are too small, is due for significant upgrades.
“We got feedback from students, staff, the public. As it sits now the only pieces that we know of are the Robert D. Maxwell Center, the red brick and glass sets the tone for the architectural style,” said Christoper Reese, Bend High School Principal. “We hear loud that students and staff like natural light. They also like a campus feel.”
The Bend High School Master Plan proposes replacing most of the school’s old classroom wings with a four-story tall instructional building.
The Bend High auditorium, Punk Hunnell Stadium and newer buildings would remain.
“We want to honor the tradition and pride and continue that with a new facility,” Reese said. “We’re exited to work on the master plan and a timeline on keeping instruction here while construction is going on so we don’t have to displace the student body as construction is completed.”
Cook says property tax rates should not change because two existing bonds are retiring at the same time the new one, if approved, would take effect.
Click here for a complete list of proposed improvements to every school.