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In May, Oakland residents get another shot at a new middle school gym

A man in a white shirt in front of a weathered, white building.
Submitted photo
Oakland School District
Superintendent Jeff Clark in front of the Washington School Gym.

Voters in the Douglas County community of Oakland will see a school bond measure to replace an aging gym on the May ballot. A similar bond failed in November, but this measure is different.

Last November’s proposal included funds for other improvements, but this bond would only fund a replacement for the Washington Gym and multi-purpose facility, to be built on school grounds.

Oakland School District Superintendent Jeff Clark said the district would then donate the old gym to the city. “Because of their [the city’s] historical status with the state, they have access to many more grants than we do," he said, "and they would be able to upgrade the gym like they would need to, and get it repaired, and [it would] be able to be used for the community.”

Rendering of a free-standing building
Oakland School District
Rendering of the new Oakland School Gym.

Clark said the off-campus, 1930s-era Washington gym, used for middle school sports, has been partially condemned. Students and spectators have to use porta-potties and the locker rooms are off-limits.

The bond is five years shorter than the previous offering, at 15 years versus 20. And, Clark says, if passed, an oversight committee would monitor the construction. If costs come in lower than expected, any extra monies would be returned to voters and pay off the bond sooner.

Should it pass, the $4.5 million bond would be matched by state funds. The bond comes in at 91 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, and would cost $15 per month for a property assessed at $200,000.

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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