BEND, OR -- Bend will get a new elementary and high school in the next few years, thanks to a $268 million bond approved in Tuesday's election. The bond measure passed 59% to 41%. The district has said new schools are necessary to accommodate anticipated growth.
Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson says he's glad voters saw the need and agreed to support the district. "Really thrilled for that. And, just really honored to be a part of a really broad effort. I'm really proud of the effort not only staff have put in, but a broad community base of volunteers who just did countless hours in terms of communicating the need and working really hard to make sure that we continue to provide what our students need, not only today but into the future."
There was no organized opposition to the measure. However, Mikalson tells KBND News, "At the end of the day, I never know what to expect. I know that our communities, on a daily basis, support our students - not only on election night, but we have over 94,000 hours of volunteerism in our schools. But in this process you just never know, so I'm just really humbled and grateful for the ongoing support."
Aside from construction of two new schools, the bond also funds maintenance and renovation projects, and safety and technology improvements at existing facilities throughout the district. Mikalson says, "Our work is to continue to make sure what we're providing today not only continues in the future but improves. And this is a huge step in that process."