Welcome to the HRCSD 2016 Bond Projects page. Hood River County School District takes great pride in its facilities and infrastructure provided through the unwavering support from the greater Hood River Community. Your support helped us get this important bond measure passed and now we want to do our best to keep you informed. We invite you to use this portion of our website to keep up-to-date on all the many projects across the district. In the coming months, you should expect to see updated information for bond project activities and events.
We are committed to engaging the community in the upcoming phases of our construction projects. In the coming months, there will be many opportunities for interested and invested community members to stay involved, participate and provide meaningful input. Our goal is to provide multiple avenues for our community to provide critical information to the District’s Bond Project Team.
Please continue to visit this 2016 Construction Bond Page for news and information about the projects as they develop and share this link with others who want to stay informed.If you have questions or would like to provide feedback regarding 2016 Bond Projects please email us at HRCSD.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bond Project Updates
A lot of work has taken place over the past few months with our Bond Project Core Team, Site Teams and School-Community Focus Groups. These groups are committed and working hard to keep everything on track depsite our prolonged inclement weather, taking advantage of technology and holding video conferences when meetings simply could not take place in person. We are happy to share an updated project and design schedule with you. 2-6-17 Master Bond Schedule 2-6-2017 Design Schedule
Draft Bond Projects Schedule:
The schedule for our Hood River School District 2016 Bond Projects is quickly taking shape. While the Project Schedule is still a working document, it is important to share this information with interested community and staff members to allow for maximum involvement throughout the next weeks, months and years of design and construction. A top priority for our School Board and School District Administration is to create the conditions for you to be meaningfully engaged in projects that affect your community school. Click here to review the 2016 Bond Project Schedule updated 10-31-17.
In short order, we will be engaging School-Community Work Groups at May Street Elementary and Wy’east Middle School to begin collecting input for new construction projects. Please take a look at the dates on the October - December Schedule for May St, Wy'east, and Hood River Middle and reach out to your principal if you would like to participate on a School-Community Work Group.
Organizational Structure for Bond Project Decisions
An HRCSD 2016 Bond Org Chart has been established to ensure communication and decision-making channels are clear and logical.
- Your elected School Board is the ultimate decision-making body, receiving information and input through the Finance Advisory Committee, the Superintendent, and the Bond Project Core Team.
- The Finance Advisory Committee is made up of three board members, three community members (assigned by the Board), district and school administrators, and teacher and classified staff representatives. The School Board has assigned the Finance Advisory Committee bond oversight duties. This group’s primary role is to monitor the allocation of bond funds to ensure that projects occur as originally promised to voters.
- Our Bond Project Core Team is responsible for day-to-day, operational decisions and consists of members from the school district administration, Opsis Architecture, and the Wenaha Group Project Management. General Contractors will join this team depending on their involvement with the various projects.
- School Core Teams will provide leadership at the individual school level and be charged with assisting the Project Management Team in decision-making, communicating with the school community, and fostering the involvement of school staff and community members.
- School-Community Work Groups will provide input on the hopes and needs for their school. This input will be used to develop school and site designs to meet the specific needs of the school community. It is anticipated that direct meetings with our many stakeholder and user groups will occur at schools with new construction projects to assist in visioning the best possible solutions for the proposed projects. In some cases, these groups could include parents, community members and others from outside the school district. Simply put, we have many wise people involved with the District and it would be unwise not to take the time to leverage this knowledge!
Please continue to visit this 2016 Construction Bond Page for news and information about capital construction and renovation projects including upcoming dates for the School-Community Work Groups.
School bond sale and refinance yield savings
On September 13, 2016, the Hood River County School District (HRCSD) closed on the sale of $57.2 million of voter-supported bonds. In part because of the District’s strong financial stewardship and associated enhanced AA+ bond rating, investors purchased the bonds at a premium. On average the bond coupons sold on the market for 14.5% more than asking price, resulting in an additional $8.5 million to the school district, all while staying within the estimated target tax levy of $1.83 per $1000. Conditions factoring into the higher value offered for the bond coupons by investors include: excellent financial performance of the District over the last three years, an enhanced AA+ bond rating, as well as favorably low interest rates in the days leading up to the bond sale. The District’s bonds were sold with an all-in true interest cost of 2.49% and netted $65,420,413 to address deferred maintenance, classroom space needs, academic program enhancements, technology infrastructure, and safety enhancements.
HRCSD Chief Financial Officer Saundra Buchanan remarked, “After many months of coordinating efforts with underwriters, bond rating agencies, legal counsel, banks, and the Oregon State Treasury, I am pleased to report to our community that we had an excellent outcome in selling our bond.”
This past June, in addition to authorizing a resolution to issue $57,175,000 of general obligation bonds, the HRCSD Board of Directors also moved to refinance $8,755,000 of the outstanding Series 2008 general obligation bonds. This planned refunding issue will save taxpayers approximately $694k over the remaining life of the bond, providing a lower overall tax rate for the community.
“These savings will mean lower taxes for our neighbors and are a compliment to the strategic efforts and hard work of Superintendent Goldman’s administrative team,” commented School Board Chair Mark Johnson. “The entire school board is eager to provide improved facilities for our students and our entire community in the months and years ahead.”
The additional funds from the bond sale will provide a cushion to ensure all Bond Projects are completed as promised. However, it is the District’s goal to manage the project budget so that the extra funds can address additional facility needs identified though the school district’s Facilities Master Plan, finalized in April 2016 with input from over 350 community members.
Construction Manager / General Contractor (CM/GC) RFP selection process underway
Currently the District is conducting an RFP process for the selection of a construction manager general contractor for a portion of the 2016 Bond Projects. Information regarding the District RFP 003-2016 for Construction Manager / General Contracting Services can be found on the District's Business Services Announcement's page.
Wenaha Group, Inc. selected as Project Manager
In July, as a result of a thoughtful Request for Proposal process for project management services, the School Board approved a recommendation to hire Wenaha Group, Inc. based out of Pendleton, OR. Wenaha Group has 4-member team who, in addition to project management services, is providing support to the District for procurement, facilities management, communications and outreach assistance.
Wenaha Group will be acting as the “clerk of the works” over the Bond project schedule, budget, coordination of design, interacting with the community, working with contractors and ensuring that measures are taken to involve local businesses as much as possible. The firm's experience with K-12 planning and construction is focused on bond projects for school districts outside the major metropolitan areas in Oregon and Washington. Recent projects include large bond programs for Pendleton School District, Hermiston School District, Milton-Freewater Unified School District and Jefferson County School District 509J.
Wenaha Group team recently lead the bond project team through the architect selection process and is currently assisting with the Construction Manager / General Contracting selection process which is expected to be complete mid-November.
District Selects Architect for 2016 Bond Projects
Hood River County School District is excited to announce the selection of Opsis Architecture based in Portland, Oregon for the 2016 Bond Project Team. Opsis has had nearly continuous involvement with the District over the past eight years on both the 2008 District-wide bond program and 2015 Facilities Master plan leading up to our successful 2016 bond in May. Over the last 17 years, Opsis has had a particular focus on educational design, completing more than 150 projects for clients in the Northwest ranging from K-12 schools to community colleges and universities. The 5-member project team will be dedicated to the District throughout the duration of capital improvement process.
The company's design process is founded on the belief that the best designed learning environments result from a deep understanding of the culture and values of each school and community. Opsis will work with the rest of the project team to develop a design process that is inclusive of our diverse community to identify the needs of all stakeholders and establish clear goals and expectations.