Committee recommends bond for 2016

Community feedback sought on potential Camas School District projects

School bond listening posts

• 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 at Hayes Freedom High School, 1919 N.E. Ione St.

• 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 at Camas-Washougal Fire Department Station 42, 4321 N.W. Parker St.

• 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Dorothy Fox Elementary School, 2623 N.W. Sierra St.

The community will soon have the opportunity to give input on a potential Camas School District bond measure during a series of “listening posts.”

A facilities advisory committee has met several times to research and study current and future facilities needs in the district. Based on those findings, the committee has recommended a bond be placed before voters.

Potential projects include acquiring property for future school sites, technology upgrades, building a new Lacamas Heights Elementary School, and constructing a new secondary school.

Meetings will take place on Oct. 20, 22 and 27.

The last time the School District put a bond before the voters was for $90 million in February 2007, which passed. The district is in the process of paying back five bonds, all of which are expected to be completed by 2027.

A draft of the bond will be presented to the School Board in November, for potential approval and placement on the February 2016 ballot. An amount has not yet been determined, but the maximum will be $120 million, according to Jeff Snell, deputy superintendent.

School Board member Doug Quinn noted that a successful bond involves community outreach.

“We are in our due diligence phase and shaping our future vision by evaluating information and listening to our patrons,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for those who care about Camas schools. That said, we have a lot more homework to do as we look to the future and toward a decision.”

In addition to workshops and the upcoming listening posts, committee members have visited schools in the Seattle area and Pasco, to get a better idea of how to support student learning in the 21st century, noted Snell.

“We are just trying to take in as much information and do our due diligence on what is out there,” he said. “We will take those pieces and see how they match up with our needs and our programs. We definitely need more space, but don’t want to build something exactly the same as we have before.”

For more information on potential bond projects, visit www.camas.wednet.edu/2016bond.

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