School District Asks Approval For Building Bonds

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The Hillsboro School District has placed a $13 million bond issue on the Nov. 8 ballot that will help fund a building project on the high school campus. 

The school board approved the bond proposal–that they are confident will not change the school district tax rate–at their regular August meeting. Another $10 million in funding from other available resources will be used for the building project, reducing the reliance on bonds supported by property taxes.

In November, school district residents will have the opportunity vote on the bond issue that the district believes will address critical facility needs at Hillsboro High School. The proposed bond issue would create a new, main high school building on the hill that will connect all existing buildings to improve safety and security, provide an improved learning environment, and protect the investment in schools and homes, without changing the property tax rate.

“Hillsboro High School is more than 100 years old, making it difficult and costly to maintain and repair,” according to Hillsboro Superintendent  David Powell. “We have the opportunity to create one main high school building that brings tradition together with progress to serve our community’s students for generations to come and to do so with no rate increase to our tax paying citizens.

“Our high school building is simply worn out and past the point where normal maintenance and repairs address the needs. The building has inadequacies in the areas of structure, mechanical, electrical, functionality, safety, and accessibility for persons with disabilities,” Powell said. “Moreover, the building lacks facilities to fully support the learning needs of our students and best prepare them for success in the workplace or higher education.”

According to preliminary plans, the new building would provide a new main high school connecting all high school buildings, improve indoor air and environmental quality, provide a single, central, secured entrance for the high school campus, provide  improved science labs and other learning spaces, improve accessibility for students, staff, and visitors with disabilities, and provide limited work on the HHS agricultural, cafeteria and gym buildings for the attachment to the new building.

The superintendent points out that the school district has decreased its tax rate each of the last four years totaling a $0.40 rate reduction. Because of debt that is on the verge of retiring, the $13 million bond issue if approved by voters would not change the district tax rate.  The financing plan anticipates a 20-year bond payoff.

Early mail-in and in-person voting begins Sept. 29. 

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