Battle Ground Public Schools will host a Bond Information Night on March 28 to provide details and answer questions about Proposition 4, the district's school construction and renovation bond that will be on the April 24 ballot.
All members of the community are invited to the public event, which will begin at 6 p.m. in the library at Prairie High School, 11311 NE 119th St, Vancouver.
At the event, school district administrators will present information about the bond and then answer questions. More information about the bond initiative and the Bond Information Night is available at www.battlegroundps.org/bond.
The district's Board of Directors voted to run the bond again after it failed to receive a required 60 percent supermajority by a little more than 200 votes on the Feb. 13 Special Election ballot.
The proposition authorizes the district to issue general obligation bonds of up to $224.9 million to replace four schools that are 40 to 60 years old; build two new schools to reduce overcrowding; replace some buildings at Prairie High School (about 40 percent of the campus); develop a site for an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) site, renovate the 300 building and gymnasium at Amboy Middle; and make other safety, technology, classroom, flooring, and recreation improvements. Security and technology upgrades would be made at all schools.
If the bond passes, the district would be eligible to receive up to $61.6 million in state matching assistance. The state allocates money from its state capital budget for the construction and repair of public buildings. To be eligible, buildings must have not received matching funds in the last 30 years. Districts can also qualify for funds for new schools based on enrollment growth.
If it passes, collections for the bond would begin in 2019. It is projected that property owners in the district will see a decrease in their total schools tax rate in 2019 compared to what they pay in 2018. Total schools tax rates increased temporarily in 2018 due to sweeping changes made by the State Legislature for school funding. Even with the new bond, it is projected that property owners' tax rates will go down by more than $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value for all school taxes in 2019 than in 2018.
Specific projects on the bond include:
The bond is part of the district's Long-range Facilities Plan developed over two years by a community volunteer committee called the Facilities Improvement Team. The plan prioritizes projects into three phases based on need and eligibility for state matching assistance. This bond includes projects in the first phase of the bond plus the ALE site.