PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Proponents of a $790 million Portland Public Schools bond celebrated as results came in following local elections Tuesday night.
As of 9:30 p.m., the bond had passed with 63% of constituents voting yes and 37% voting no.
The largest school bond in history will provide millions of dollars to help mitigate an ongoing lead-in-water crisis in the district and to fund much-needed repairs and improvements at aging schools.
“I’m really happy that this passed for our kids,” Interim Superintendent Bob McKean said. “We will use the money wisely and honor the taxpayer and do some things that, for the kids and the future of the city, are going to be really important.”
PPS will use $324 million to replace aging pipes, fixtures and to mitigate the effects of lead paint, radon and asbestos. It also will renovate or rebuild 4 schools, allow seismic upgrades and roof repairs and add or replace fire alarms and sprinklers.
The average school in the district is 77 years old, and 10 are more than a century old. Before a school bond passed in 2012, voters had not approved a capital improvement package since 1945. Thirty-three schools have no sprinkler systems, and 78 lack fire alarms that meet modern codes.
PPS SCHOOL BOARD
The PPS board gained 3 new members: Rita Moore won in zone 4, Scott Bailey won in zone 5 and Julia Brim-Edwards won a spot on the board in zone 6.
OTHER SCHOOL BONDS
A $187 million bond for Lake Oswego schools passed with 58% of the vote. The bond will foster improvements to classrooms and seismic safety. It will also cover an exterior fix for Oak Creek Elementary and replace Lakeridge Junior High.
A $75 million bond for Mount Hood Community College did not pass.
Hotels currently pay a 6% city tax to Portland. City voters approved a measure to require companies like Airbnb to also pay the tax. The measure passed 60-40.
The Associated Press contributed to this report