Roseburg Public Schools has a $94 million bond measure on the May 19 ballot.

A worldwide pandemic has not stopped Roseburg and Glendale school districts from keeping school bond measures in the May 19 election, along with a Canyonville measure asking voters to be included in the Oregon State University Extension Service District.

Roseburg School District has limited its advertising of the bond, but is moving forward with the measure. A political action committee has been formed to push the bond measure.

The proposed measure asks for $94 million for safety and security systems, vocational education, indoor air quality, heating and cooling systems and technology infrastructure at each school in the district. It would also fund the construction of five new gymnasiums at elementary schools and replace the Heritage Building, the original high school building, at Roseburg High School.

Alex Palm, president of the political action committee for the Roseburg bond, said improving the schools could also help attract new young families to the area.

“I’ve been on the front line for the last 15 years in Economic Development in our area and can say without any doubt, we need better schools that provide a healthy learning environment with new technology to compete to attract the work force we need to Roseburg,” Palm said. “It’s not rocket science.”

He called the bond levy a “local economic stimulus package” for the community.

School board chair Joe Garcia echoed that statement, saying, “The indirect benefits of this Bond are now even more important than before,” school board chair Joe Garcia wrote on the Vote YES for Roseburg Schools website. “This Bond will ensure that our community will have added jobs for the next three to five years in fields where workers may otherwise have to relocate if our community is without projects. Those jobs may even bring more families to our community, which would bring added business to our food and hospitality employers and increase our student enrollment.”

Glendale School District left the $1.88 million bond measure to construct and renovate school facilities on the ballot.

Glendale School District Superintendent David Hanson said, “We are in a holding pattern and hopeful for a strategic launch before the election when the time is right.”

The measure to include Canyonville in the Oregon State University Extension Service District would include a maximum tax rate increase of 65 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value, to be able to offer forestry, agriculture, after school program and workshops in Canyonville.

Sutherlin School District decided to remove its bond from the ballot on March 18.

“We have to remember our community of businesses, and for them to be shut down and then think there’s even the possibility of raising taxes. I think that’s not good,” Sutherlin School District Superintendent Terry Prestianni said at the time.

Ballots for the May elections will be mailed out, starting April 29, to registered voters.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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