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State gives $4.3M match for Lebanon schools bond

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The Lebanon pool has settled in areas causing it to be uneven.

When the Lebanon Community Schools ask the voters this year to support a $20 million bond to address some needed facilities upgrades and repairs, the district will have $4.3 million in state matching funds in its back pocket.

The schools get that money, however, only if voters say yes to the bond measure. 

The district, which serves more than 4,000 students from preschool through 12th grade, says renovations are needed to improve safety and security at facilities and for maintenance to extend the lives of buildings. The projects aim to bring the facilities up to code and in line with districtwide standards.

“This is fantastic news for taxpayers and our community as a whole,” Superintendent Bo Yates said in a statement. “The grant will complete more projects and helps reduce the amount of funding we need from property owners.”

The Lebanon School Board meets 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13 to consider a resolution putting the bond on the May ballot. The meeting can be attended in person or virtually.

A portion of the bond would renovate the Lebanon Community Pool, which is owned by the school district, and add space in school buildings for preschool programs. Property owners with an assessed value of $175,000 — the average home in Lebanon, according to the district — would pay about $50 extra each year in taxes.

The maintenance work would include heating, air conditioning and ventilation upgrades (which are critical during the pandemic and for summer school), fixing roofs, streamlining security, and doing seismic upgrades, such as at the high school gym where students might gather in an emergency.

Superintendent Yates has acknowledged that the $28 million is short of the more than $41 million needed for repairs for the district indicated in a 2019 assessment.

More information about meeting access and the facilities bond can be found on the school district website.

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