EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – Most property taxpayers in Eugene would support a bond measure to fix aging schools. Now the question facing the Eugene 4J school board is whether to rebuild or renovate.
A public survey commissioned by the board shows about 64% of likely voters in the school district are in favor of a bond measure. The median homeowner would pay about $42 extra per year in property taxes.
The school district is considering two bond measure options. One, which would cost $145 million, would replace three schools; the other would replace four schools for $170 million.
At a school board meeting Wednesday night, an architect told the board it would be more cost-effective to rebuild instead of renovate. For example, it is estimated that it could cost $41.5 million dollars to rebuild Roosevelt Middle School, as opposed to more than $60 million to renovate it. Another consideration is that renovations on-site would likely disrupt classes.
Regarding the renovation process, District 4j spokeswoman Kerry Delf explained, “Construction takes a great deal longer and the final product is not what you would have designed new and is essentially a lesser building than you would have designed new. Additionally, it won't last as long.”
Several board members seem to favor the plan to replace four schools.
Superintendent Sheldon Berman will make his recommendation next week. The board will vote on the recommendation on February 20 and decide whether to put the bond measure on the May or the November ballot.