Gervais School District
664e2be59eeab45a4b6336d6 Gervais Aerial

Oregon district will be able to stay open after winning approval of bond proposal

May 22, 2024
Officials in the Gervais district had warned that it would have to shut down if voters rejected the $28 million bond request.

Voters in the Gervais (Oregon) district, facing a shutdown of the school system without a tax increase, have overwhelmingly approved a $28 million bond proposal.

KATU-TV reports that unofficial results showed the bond proposal winning the support of 73% of voters.

District officials had warned the community that unless voters approved the bond proposal, they would have to shut down the school system. Since 1997, voters has rejected bond requests nine times. 

If the bond request had been rejected, the Gervais board indicated it would cease operations. and the territory would have been divided among five surrounding school districts, all of which have significantly higher tax rates than Gervais.

Gervais needs the bond funds to carry out critical facility upgrades in their its aging school buildings.

“There’s not enough money in our yearly operational costs to do the kinds of major repairs and renovations that we’re asking for,” Superintendent Dandy Stevens said. “Other districts around us have been able to pass those kinds of bonds throughout the years."

The Salem Statesman Journal reports that Gervais now is in line to receive a $6 million grant from the state that was contingent upon passing a bond proposal. The most recent bond request to win approval from Gervais voters was in 1991.

The district has 870 students from Gervais and unincorporated communities along Interstate 5 between Salem and Woodburn. Another 400 students attend an online charter school the district hosts.

The district plans to use the bond proceeds to carry out several projects:

  • Building new classrooms and a commons building for the middle school.
  • Replacing the roof at the high school, and safety and heating and cooling improvements.
  • Replacing the heating and cooling at the elementary school, along with safety and accessibility improvements at entrances.
About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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