Ballots for the Feb. 9 special election began arriving in local mailboxes during this past week. This time around, it’s Camas voters who will have the opportunity to decide whether to support a capital improvement bond that would fund major projects throughout the school district.
To continue to support the school district’s commitment to providing high-quality education to the community’s children, the Post-Record recommends a “yes” vote.
This proposed $120 million bond is the next facet of a multi-phase, long-range plan that began in 1994 with a bond supporting the construction of Skyridge Middle School. Over the years, new schools have been added, and existing facilities have been enhanced and expanded. Thanks in large part to these voter-supported efforts, during the past two decades the Camas School District has become known as one of the top public school systems in the nation.
Funds from the current proposed bond would pay for several different types of projects, and provide the money to make some desperately needed improvements at existing facilities.
Among the largest endeavors will be the construction of a new 600-student high school adjacent to the current Camas High School campus. Bond money would also pay for improvements to traffic flow and parking at and around CHS, both of which have become major issues of concern as students and staff face the daily headaches of navigating their way to and from school.
Bond funds would also support the construction of a new Lacamas Heights Elementary School north of Lacamas Lake, leaving the current facility available for use by students taking part in extra-curricular activities.
Monies would also be used to renovate the Garfield Building, and restore the Joyce Garver Theater located inside. In the not-so-distant past, this was an active, vibrant place where youth and adults participated in theater, instrumental and vocal performances of all varieties. Bringing it back to life and opening it up to student and community use would turn it into an incredible asset to the community.
Currently, the district has 6,800 students who are educated by more than 400 teachers. The graduation rate is an impressive 94.4 percent. During a State of the Community presentation in October 2015, Superintendent Mike Nerland said a survey by Cascade Planning Group found that 76 percent of people who moved to Camas during the past 10 years factored the quality of the city’s schools into their decision.
These numbers are testaments to the fact that school and community leaders have been thoughtful in their approach to implementing the district’s long-range plan. The city of Camas will continue to grow during the next two decades, and providing quality educational facilities will play a large role in making this inevitable growth successful.
Vote ‘yes’ on Camas School District Proposition 1.