The Board of Education unanimously approved a recommendation on Monday night to put an $82.7 million bond measure on the ballot this November.
The proposed bond would fund a number of projects, including the replacement of Rocky Heights Elementary School with a larger capacity building on the same property and the construction of a new elementary school on property owned by the district on Theater Lane.
The bond would also fund a multi-use annex for Hermiston High School, further elementary school improvements and be used to purchase more property to address projected student capacity.
A recent press release issued by the school district stated that the bond wouldn’t raise property taxes because it will be paid for by new growth in Hermiston's tax base, and that taxpayers can expect to keep the $0.40 reduction per $1,000 assessed value they will see as a result of the district paying off its pre-2008 debt last month.
According to the Hermiston School District website, the Facility Planning Committee estimated the elementary schools would exceed capacity by the 2020-21 school year and Hermiston High School by this coming school year.
“With support from our residents, we’ll be able to keep up with the growing demand for classroom space and maintain quality instruction at each of our campuses,” said Board of Education Chair Karen Sherman.
The district’s last bond proposal, which was rejected by voters in 2017, was for $104 million dollars.
“Even though we were unsuccessful last time,” said school board vice chair Josh Goller, “the need is still there.”