REDMOND, OR -- Redmond voters will decide on a $70 million school bond, next month. Superintendent Mike McIntosh has been working on the funding request for over a year, and says about half of the money is needed to replace 53-year-old M.A. Lynch elementary, which suffered substantial damage in the winter of 2016-17. "Lynch became the big problem, I think, when it was built. It was not built for Central Oregon, nor was it built to change with the ever changing needs of education. Two years ago, the biggest thing came with our Snowmageddon. It’s become probably the most urgent physical need of our school district."
The other dozen schools in the district get a piece, too, "Every school gets a fix from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars, primarily in this area of safety and security." He says the school most in need of a security upgrade is Obsidian Middle School, next door to Lynch. "If you’ve been in that school, it’s a very well-built facility; but the office is set way back in the middle of it, with two main entryways that are difficult to secure [and] no visible contact with who’s coming up to the door." He tells KBND News, "We’re going to address that in a big-time way, by moving the office, making the North Entry the main entry; sharing that parking lot with the new Lynch Elementary, making that kind of a first through eighth grade campus, with opposing schools right across the parking lot."
McIntosh says even the district’s newest school needs work. Ridgeview High, which opened in 2012, wasn’t built with active shooters in mind. "This is a phenomenon that’s happened in the last five to ten years that hasn’t caught us off guard, but it’s ramped up and it’s escalated very rapidly."
The bond would increase property taxes in the district by $.54 per $1,000 of assessed value. If it's approved November 6, the owner of a home assessed at $200,000 would pay a total of about $9 a month to the district. To hear our full conversation with Superintendent McIntosh, click HERE.
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