Why refer a bond measure at this time?
The School Board considered two main factors in deciding to refer a proposed bond measure to the ballot in the May 2021 election.
1. The opportunity to receive a state matching grant if the proposed bond measure passes.
Baker School District has been approved to receive a $4 million grant from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching (OSCIM) program if the proposed bond measure passes in May. If the proposed bond is approved, these funds would be used to help pay for proposed bond projects. The district would not receive the matching grant if the proposed bond doesn’t pass.
2. Aging schools and components.
The newest school in the district (Brooklyn Primary) is 66 years old. The oldest (Haines Elementary) is more than 100 years old. As schools have aged, so have the mechanical systems that provide heating and ventilation. Several schools still have their original heating units and steam piping. New parts for these old systems are no longer available, so maintenance staff salvage parts from decommissioned units in order to make repairs.
What would the proposed bond measure cost, if approved?
The proposed bond measure would raise $4 million if it passes and would be repaid over five years. Property owners would pay approximately $0.66 per $1,000 of assessed property value (about $66 per year, or $5.50 per month, for a home assessed at $100,000). If the bond does not pass, the tax rate would not increase, and the projects outlined in this proposal would not be completed.
If the proposed measure passes, could bond funds be used for other purposes?
If the proposed bond is approved, bond funds could only be used for costs associated with the projects listed in the bond proposal. Bond funds could not pay for salaries or operational costs.
How would the district oversee bond spending if the measure passes?
If the proposed bond measure passes, the District would appoint a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to monitor the progress of the bond and provide project oversight. That committee would report back to the School Board on a regular basis.
When is the last time that Baker School District passed a capital improvement bond?
Harry S. Truman was president, in 1948, the last time that Baker School District voters approved a capital improvement bond. Funds from that bond paid to construct four schools: Baker High School (1950), Keating Elementary (1950), South Baker Intermediate (1953) and Brooklyn Primary (1955).
Did You Know?
Several schools in Baker School District still have their original heating units and steam piping. After 60-70 years of use, steam pipes are corroded. Radiators and fan coil units are failing and difficult to repair or replace. New parts for these old systems are no longer available, so maintenance staff salvage parts from decommissioned units to make repairs.
Baker Middle School is the only school in the Baker 5J district that doesn’t have a cafeteria and kitchen. Meals are prepared at the high school and transported to the middle school. At lunch time, students eat on the gymnasium balcony as well as on the bleachers.