May 20, 2016
Thank you to the voters of Hood River County for your overwhelming support of our youth and our schools with the passage of Measure 14-58, the school facilities bond. Our school district educators are humbled by your vote of confidence and your dedication to the future of our community - our children.
Asking community members for financial investment is never an automatic motion. I want to recognize the many, many community members, industry leaders, elected officials, and school staff members for their partnership, effort, and time. We engaged over 350 community members in work groups, listening sessions, and via phone surveys over the course of more than 18 months. Ultimately, our shared engagement resulted in a well-researched, actionable long-range facilities plan - and a positive election result.
This level of community collaboration helped to shape a capital bond plan that addresses critical infrastructure needs at every single school in our county. The basics like leaking roofs, faltering plumbing, and defunct HVAC systems will be addressed to protect the long-term viability of our school buildings. But more than that, our community voted to: invest the safety of our children with important structural and technological security upgrades at every school; to create new instructional spaces at Wy’east Middle School focused on the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics; to replace our oldest functioning school, May Street Elementary, with a modernized, energy-efficient facility with increased capacity for our growing population; to improve athletic fields and playgrounds; and to expand the use of innovative classroom technologies towards preparing our students for the interconnected, fast-changing economies of tomorrow.
A number of dedicated community members worked tirelessly on a campaign for a yes vote on Measure 14-58. A special THANK YOU to Liz Whitmore, Rich Truax, Janet Cook Hixson, Jan Velduisen Virk, Chrissy Reitz, and Deedee Hennessey!
As we move ahead with bond projects over the next months and years, we will remain committed to continued opportunities for community input. But for now, please accept my sincere gratitude for your support of our schools, our educators, and our children.