Eugene School Board celebrates major victory in Tuesday's election

The school board approved placing the bond on the ballot Wednesday night after nearly a year of planning, research and public input.

LANE COUNTY, Ore. - One day after the election, the Vice Chair of the Eugene School Board hit the streets on Wednesday, picking up campaign signs and reflecting on a huge election win.

"We had over 200 volunteers. we walked and knocked on doors every weekend," said Anne Marie Levis, the Vice Chair.

Voters gave the green light on the 4J District's largest-ever building bond. Levis says when the first version of the bond topped $400-million and gave a lot of voters sticker-shock, the board listened.

"We heard people saying to us for the first time that they felt they couldn't support the bond," said Levis. "So that's when we went back to the drawing board."

The pared down bond provides funds for a new Edison Elementary, Camas Ridge Elementary and the late 50's vintage, North Eugene High School. Renovations will also be coming to Gilham Elementary.

"The day after a bond measure doesn't mean we are out building immediately," said Kerry Delf, with the 4J School District. "There's still a lot of planning work to do."

Months of study and pre-planning and determining time-lines are ahead for the board. most likely at the front of the project line is the new high school.

"What makes sense is to have the new North Eugene HS starting sooner rather than later," said Delf. "Simply because costs are rising every year."

Levis says the school board took this personally from the start of discussions. If there was no NEHS, .there would be no bond.

"I can't tell you how important North Eugene is to this bond," said Levis. "This school was old 30 years ago."

For a median-assessed home in the 4J district, passing the bond will cost taxpayers about $135 per year in extra payments.

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