Legislature in 2015 authorized grants to school facilities to improve student safety statewide including $289,038 for Pilot Butte Middle School in Bend, $1.003 million for Crook County Middle School Gym and $1 million for Jefferson Elementary.
State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney announced the successful sale of $50 million in state bonds to improve the seismic safety of education facilities statewide.
The new bonds were issued last week in a general obligation sale overseen by the Debt Management Division of the Oregon State Treasury, and are part of a $351.4 million total bond sale. Due to Oregon’s strong credit ratings, which have been protected due to measured and tactical use of public debt, Treasury was able to sell the 20-year bonds at highly competitive interest rates.
“A priority for public debt us to improve the health and safety of Oregonians,” said Treasurer Wheeler. “Studies have found that schools are at risk, which means schoolchildren are at risk, and I applaud the Legislature for approving this use of our limited bonding capacity.”
“The sale of these bonds will fund critical improvements to make 41 of our schools safer. It will make hundreds of our children safer, but we’re not finished,” said President Courtney, who spearheaded the effort in the Legislature to approve the bonds. “We’re not even close. Too many schools remain unsafe. Too many children remain at risk.”
The 2015 Legislature approved a total $175 million package to finance seismic retrofits of school facilities, and the $50 million is the first of two resulting bond sales. A second issuance is planned later this year for the remainder.
Business Oregon selected the 41 recipient school facilities in April through a competitive grant process, from a total of 107 applications. Unfunded applications will be rolled over into the next round.
The approved projects are at K-12 schools statewide, and at Eugene-based Lane Community College and Coos Bay-based Southwestern Oregon Community College.
A 2007 review by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries listed more than 1,000 school structures in Oregon at risk of collapse in a major earthquake.
Oregon voters in 2002 approved the use of general obligation bonds for seismic-related projects at public education facilities.
Oregon’s recent history of budget discipline and adherence to a debt limit has helped the state to obtain general obligation credit ratings of AA+/Aa1/AA+ ratings by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Investors Service respectively.
Bonds need to be repaid, with interest, so the Oregon State Debt Policy Advisory Commission makes recommendations about how much public money should be devoted to loan repayment, in order to keep annual payments at a manageable level. The Legislature decides whether and how to allot the available public debt within the debt capacity.
The Treasury Debt Management Division facilitates the sale of state bonds, interfaces with bond rating agencies on behalf of the state, connects nonprofits with lower-cost financing and maintains a bond calendar of all public debt issuances by Oregon governments.
The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are set by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices.
2016 Series H Baker School District Baker High School Gym $1,300,500
2016 Series H Bandon School District Ocean Crest Elementary 1,498,212
2016 Series H Bend-LaPine School District Pilot Butte Middle School 289,038
2016 Series H Brookings School District Kalmiopsis Elementary 1,499,600
2016 Series H Butte Falls School District Butte Falls High School 1,492,300
2016 Series H Cascade School District Turner Elementary 1,484,200
2016 Series H Central Curry School District Gold Beach High School 1,499,213
2016 Series H Crook County School District Crook County Middle School Gym 1,003,120
2016 Series H Dallas School District Whitworth Elementary 1,492,900
2016 Series H David Douglas School District Mill Park Elementary 910,495
2016 Series H Gaston School District Gaston Elementary 1,493,900
2016 Series H Grants Pass School District Riverside Elementary 1,499,800
2016 Series H Grants Pass School District South Middle School 1,499,900
2016 Series H Harrisburg School District Harrisburg High School Gym 1,496,400
2016 Series H Hood River County School District Hood River Middle School Gym 898,400
2016 Series H Jackson County School District Table Rock Elementary Gym 1,495,500
2016 Series H Jefferson School District Jefferson Elementary 1,000,400
2016 Series H Klamath Falls School District Peterson Elementary 1,498,800
2016 Series H Lane Community College Building 18 686,576
2016 Series H Langlois School District Driftwood Elementary 1,472,400
2016 Series H Lowell School District Lowell High School 1,136,017
2016 Series H Medford School District Ruch Elementary 1,477,100
2016 Series H Monroe School District Monroe Grade School 1,490,200
2016 Series H Neah-Kah-Nie School District Nehalem Elementary 1,396,000
2016 Series H Nestucca Valley School District Nestucca Valley Elementary 1,492,800
2016 Series H North Powder School District North Powder Gym 676,200
2016 Series H Paisley School District Paisley Elementary 1,124,000
2016 Series H Pine Eagle School District Pine Eagle Elementary 491,400
2016 Series H Portland Public Schools Lewis Elementary 333,621
2016 Series H Reynolds School District Reynolds Middle School Classroom 1,500,000
2016 Series H Rogue River School District Rogue River West Elementary 1,497,500
2016 Series H Roseburg School District Green Elementary 1,497,500
2016 Series H St. Paul School District St. Paul Elementary 1,462,700
2016 Series H Santiam Canyon School District Santiam High School Gym 1,499,600
2016 Series H Silver Falls School District Victor Point School 1,167,400
2016 Series H SW Oregon Community College Coaledo Hall 597,818
2016 Series H SW Oregon Community College Randolph Hall 264,154
2016 Series H Sweet Home School District Sweet Home High School Auditorium 1,424,700
2016 Series H Tillamook School District Liberty Elementary Gym 1,161,400
2016 Series H Tigard-Tualatin School District Fowler Middle School 1,299,126
2016 Series H Yoncalla School District Yoncalla Elementary 1,499,110