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Voters Decline McKenzie School Bond

Karen Richards

A bond that would have helped rebuild the McKenzie School District’s 70-year-old elementary school failed to pass in Tuesday’s special election.

A similar measure failed last fall, when the school board encouraged people to vote “no” as they assessed damage from the Holiday Farm Fire. This spring, it lost by a wider margin. Asked why, Superintendent Lane Tompkins said some people moved from the area, while those rebuilding are, “Dealing with insurance or lack of insurance, or waiting on permitting, coupled with the rise in construction material cost. I think a lot people had to look at where they’re at right now.” 

Even those who have settled with their insurance companies are facing tough decisions, Tompkins told KLCC. He's heard of people who were able to get funds to cover the cost of replacing their home, but have found the cost has since risen substantially.

Tompkins said he feels for people encountering roadblocks and headaches, and he knows the district has the community’s support. Though there won’t be a new elementary school there are other projects. Last week the district won a grant to seismically update its oldest gym. It will then be a safe place for the community in future times of need.  The school will also host summer classes during the month of July, and is working to rebuild the fire-damaged football stands and concession area. 

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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