Hermiston City Council Votes to Support School District Bond Measure

A new Rocky Heights Elementary School will be built if Hermiston voters approve an $82.7 million bond measure in November. The Hermiston City Council voted Monday to support the bond measure. (File photo)

The city of Hermiston is officially supporting the Hermiston School District as it seeks voter approval for a school bond to address enrollment growth in the recent years.

The Hermiston City Council voted on Monday to support Measure 30-130 on the November ballot, which would raise $82.7 million to fund the construction of two new elementary schools, a high school annex and the acquisition of property for future growth. The bond will not affect the property tax reduction of $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed value resulting from the district paying off its pre-2008 bond debt. Additionally, the district will receive $6.6 million in state funding that is only available if the bond is approved by voters.

“The Hermiston School District has been a responsive and responsible community partner, and the need for more classroom space is clear,” said Hermiston Mayor David Drotzmann. “Hermiston is growing at an incredible rate, and many of our new residents are young families. We have a responsibility to make sure the community remains an attractive place to live and work, and a healthy school district is a big part of that.”

If the bond is approved, the school district will demolish and rebuild Rocky Heights Elementary School near Butte Park, construct a new elementary school on Theater Lane near the city’s new water tower and build a multi-classroom annex on the north side of the high school. All the projects address student capacity concerns.

“Budgets are tight for a lot of residents, so I’m pleased that the schools found a way to make the necessary expansion at a reasonable price point for taxpayers,” said Council President Jackie Myers. “Making room for continued growth without adding to the tax burden is a win-win.”