The Ashland School District is asking voters for $109 million in bonds to pay for needed improvements to buildings and equipment, as well as safety and security measures to protect students. District patrons should say yes.
Measure 15-178 on the Nov. 6 ballot would authorize the bonds at a rate at or below $2 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The new bonds would be issued after existing bonds are paid off in May 2019. The expiring bonds carry the same rate, so property owners in the district would see no increase in taxes. The new bonds will mature in 26 years.
A district bond committee began meeting in July 2017 to develop recommendations for the bond request. The district also held community meetings in March to hear from residents about improvements they would like to see.
Among the public requests was new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for school buildings. One bond committee member, a former teacher, said the temperature in her classroom at Walker Elementary School reached the high 80s on some days in May.
Other improvements include remodeling to enhance security throughout the district, a response to school shootings elsewhere in the country. Seismic upgrades, technology infrastructure with better internet connectivity and major renovations at Helman and Walker schools also are planned, along with work to increase accessibility for the disabled.
Ashland residents have historically been generous with their public schools. We are confident they will continue that traditions by voting yes on Measure 15-178 Nov. 6.