It’s a humbling experience to be entrusted with nearly $90 million to build new schools for a generation of Hermiston students. The Hermiston School District is grateful to this community for supporting our mission of providing a premier education to every child.

But we know this is also more than just an opportunity to construct new buildings. This is our chance as a district to earn and build the trust of the community. We intend to follow through on the promises we made when putting the school bond before voters. Whether you voted in favor or against the bond, or even if you didn’t vote at all, we want to show you in the coming years that we value your investment.

Our main goal now is to plan, develop, and complete these construction projects in a way that welcomes the public to join us as partners. Just as we asked for input from a facilities committee to help create a list of priority projects, we’re now looking for an oversight committee to help carry out the vision. Applications will be available on the school district website this week and 10-15 people will be selected by the Hermiston School Board.

Project management requests for proposal will also be posted on the district website this week, and we will use the website to deliver project timelines and updates as they become available. Once a project management team is selected and work begins, the oversight committee will meet monthly to review progress and expenditures. With the help of the elected school board and volunteer committee, we will account for every penny the district spends on these projects and report back to taxpayers.

But simply finishing on time and under budget isn’t enough. We want to honor the commitment of voters and taxpayers in every step of the process. You entrust the school district with the education of your children and the expenditure of your tax dollars. We will earn that trust with a straightforward accounting of our progress in both areas.

This is an exciting time for the Hermiston School District. We are eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work on projects that will make a tangible impact on our students as it gives them the room they need to learn. We are proud to be part of this community and are happy to answer questions you have as we move forward.

From the Hermiston School District, our teachers and administrators, and especially the thousands of students who will benefit from your support, thank you. It’s this commitment from our community that makes Hermiston a great place to live, work and grow.

Tricia Mooney is the superintendent of the Hermiston School District.

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