NASELLE, Wash. — The Naselle-Grays River Valley School is recognized as a Blue Ribbon School, but its physical facilities are aging. So the school board and Superintendent Rick Pass have decided to put forward an $8.1 million bond to fund renovations.

It will be on the ballot Feb. 12.

The school was built in 1957 and several areas will be enhanced under a plan approved by school board members Ed Darcher, Hollis Fletcher, Gilbert Haataia, Art Hyland and Robert Torppa.

The capital bond will provide for career technical and vocational improvements and the music rehearsal classroom will be upgraded. Technology improvements will also be added and an additional physical education facility will be expanded and improved. A new gymnasium will be built.

The grandstand used for football, track and cross country events will be replaced and improved. The building exterior will be improved and access for those with disabilities will be made. The lighting and drainage at the campus will also be improved. Plumbing at the grandstand will be upgraded.

Team practices, physical education classes and rainy day recess and community access would be improved with a new gymnasium. Students would no longer have to travel to Naselle Youth Camp gym or Rosburg gym for practices if the capital bond is passed

Naselle schools have already received $768,000 for an energy improvement grant from the state of Washington. That grant, and possibly another one, will lower the cost of the capital bond and increase the cost-effectiveness of the facility improvement, leaders said.

Another grant is in the works. Pass said if approved, it would have significant impact on the funds available for the project.

The cost for a taxpayer with a home with an assessed value of at least $100,000 would be $73 per year for 10 years (In 1993 a bond was approved for $2.73 in the Naselle district per $1,000 of assessed value). Because property taxes are tax deductible, the actual cost to one itemizing in the 25 percent tax bracket would be about $.55 per $1,000.

With a capital bond in place the Naselle-Grays River Valley District would be eligible for state timber revenues. The supplement has amounted to $27,360 each year and that money is applied to operation of the school system. The interest rate for the bonds is historically low and the cost of construction is also lower than in 2008, according to a brochure produced by the school district.

The maintenance and operation costs for the structure are climbing, school leaders have said. The physical education facilities including a gymnasium and weight-training facilities are in need of expansion and improvement and the grandstand, restrooms and press box area is aging.

If the capital bond passes then the architectural design will be completed in 2013. Bids would go out in spring 2014 and the project would be complete the summer of 2015.

The state Superintendent of Public Instruction, looking at the physical condition of the schools, ranked the career technical education and music building as 53 out of a possible score of 100.

The Replacement Bond Campaign Committee is headed by Allen Lebovitz and Bert Haven. There will be an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Middle School Commons concerning the capital bond proposal.


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