PATEROS — Pateros School Superintendent Lois Davies calls it a basic, “rubber meets the road” bond.
The school district is asking voters to pass a $7.25 million 20-year bond on Nov. 5. The proposal, she said, would provide just the basics needed to finance health, safety, educational and infrastructure improvements. “We were very, very intentional of keeping the price as low as we could and still address what we believe is necessary,” she said.
Davies said the district’s buildings saw their last major renovations 32 years ago. That means classrooms have inadequate electrical supply, flooring and security. Single-paned windows and two boilers at the end of their lifespan need to be replaced. Ventilation and technology at the district’s metals and agriculture building also require upgrades to help students be successful in the district’s career and technical education programs.
A more secure entry and improved traffic patterns for picking up and dropping off students are important for improving school safety, she said.
With the bond, the district would also build two new classrooms to replace a two-room portable building, freeing the portable building as a potential preschool.
In addition, a multi-purpose room would be constructed at the elementary school to be used for music, performing arts, physical education and a gymnasium.
Currently, only the high school has a gym, she said.
That means when the weather is too snowy, rainy or windy for outside play, elementary students crowd into the school’s hallway and watch a video. Like the high school gym, the new multi-purpose room would likely be used by the community all year.
Davies said if it passes, the new bond will be blended with a bond passed in 2008 that currently costs 0.67 per $1,000 assessed value. The combined levy rate would be $2.08 per $1,000 assessed value. Once the 2008 bond is paid off, the rate will stay the same, and the extra 0.67 per $1,000 assessed value would go toward repaying the new bond.
Davies said before deciding what to ask from voters, the district held a series of meetings, and the board really listened to the community.
“Instead of tearing down buildings and replacing them, which would get a lot of state matching funds, but would cost the taxpayers more, we decided they just need to be renovated,” she said.
Davies added, “We’re not looking for fluff. We’re really trying to keep it to the basic things that are needed.”