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Eight years after successful campaign, Junction City educators hope voters approve more money for schools

Aerial view of school buildings.
Junction City School District.
In a video promoting the school bond measure, a drone's eye view of the Junction City School District and high school shows fields and buildings.

Officials for Junction City’s schools have a new school bond measure before voters, and are hoping for a repeat victory in the May primary election. 

In 2016, 54% of voters approved a $14.6 million bond measure. It modernized and built new space at the Junction City High School, and improved security for two of the district’s grade schools.

Man talking to camera.
Junction City School District.
Troy Stoops, Superintendent of Junction City Schools, makes the case for the school bond measure in a recent video.

Superintendent Troy Stoops told KLCC that this year’s measure would generate over $59 million to upgrade several athletic fields, four buildings, and a media center for students.

“We want to keep them warm, safe and dry and, and give them an environment where they can learn as best they can,” said Stoops. “Our athletic fields are in dire need of major upgrades. And so we're asking, for converting our football field, our baseball field, and our softball field to turf. To help us manage those spaces better and be able to use those facilities.”

Junction City schools will also receive $6 million in matching grants if voters approve the bond measure. The projected expense to homeowners would rise from $1.48 to $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed value, equating to a $20 a month or so beyond current rates.

“You know, it's an additional cost for the taxpayer,” said Stoops. “But we look at it as an investment in our future. And especially in this small community like Junction City, the schools are a hub of the community.”

Stoops and other supporters of Measure 20-355 are hoping to get out the vote so that they can move on projects they say are important to meet immediate needs, but also accommodate an increase of 200 students in the coming decade.

There are also planned seismic upgrades, a feature lacking from current buildings that range from roughly 50 to 90 years old.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the amount of money the bond was expected to generate. The correction to this story was made on May 23, 2024. KLCC regrets the error.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.