Keizer Community Discusses Bond
November 15, 2017 By:MHS Piper
By Emma Snyder
On November 13 at six o’clock, the Keizer community gathered in the auditorium of McNary. There, they had the opportunity to be a part of a forum discussing the very future of McNary High School. The topic of debate was a new bond measure set to formally appear on the ballot during the May election.
According to Ballotpedia.org, a bond measure is when “a state government, or a local unit of government (city, county, school district) places a question before the voters, asking them to approve or deny additional proposed spending. In short, the voters will get to decide whether or not they want the loan to be taken out. The Salem-Keizer District’s website lists the proposed amount at 620 million dollars, a 19 percent decrease from the original amount, which was 766 million. If the bond measure passes, it will add between a dollar fifty to two dollars and fifty cents per thousand of assessed property value.
How will this bond measure affect McNary?
“In a profound way,” McNary High School’s principal, Erik Jespersen answered. “There are a number of things that are on the conceptual design…we’re at the phase now where we have some big chunks of ideas on where to improve the school, but we don’t have the finite details set yet.” Some general ideas currently being considered are the expansion of the Career Technical Education program, also known as CTEC. There is also talk of the complete removal of the portables, and the addition of a dozen or so classrooms, with a focus on science classrooms.
Other changes have the possibility to make McNary safer.
“Unfortunately in this time in American society, there’s been a lot of dangerous things that have happened in schools, so having an attendance office that’s down the hallway and out of sight and view is actually not very safe. So we want to make sure we have a clear line of sight from all the offices,” Jespersen said.
This expansion promises to go beyond affecting McNary students and also better the Keizer community with a reconfiguration of the parking lot that will aid those traveling in and out of McNary, and help improve the flow of traffic around the school. Thus far, said community is responding to the proposed bond measure with a fair amount of positivity.
“I do believe it will pass,” Jespersen said. “But we do still have a lot of work to do to make it pass.” According to Jespersen, the polling is favorable that it will pass, but it’s not as strong in the West Salem and Keizer areas. Jespersen hoped for the November 13 forum to help increase support, and was happy to see a number of McNary students attending, and taking part in what was happening in their school.