• school bond 2023

    On February 14, 2023, Oak Harbor voters will consider a $121 million school bond measure that will replace three aging schools, enhance safety at all schools and address critical needs of the community.

    If approved by the voters, the bond measure would do the following to enhance our schools and utilize available funding from the federal and state governments:

    • Enhance safety at all of the Oak Harbor Public School sites
    • Rebuild Crescent Harbor Elementary on its current site to address critical infrastructure needs of the school
    • Rebuild Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center and HomeConnection to move the schools out of the military flight path and address critical infrastructure needs of the school
    • Build a new school on the OHPS-owned fields at Fort Nugent Park to address the growth in the area
    • Reutilize the Oak Harbor Elementary school site to address the growing need for early learning and child care in Oak Harbor 

    Washington state is one of 11 states that requires a supermajority of 60% approval in order to pass a bond. 

Bond Utilizes Available Funds to Reduce Costs for Taxpayers

  • In an effort to be responsible fiscal stewards of taxpayer dollars, the Oak Harbor Public Schools continues to seek out additional funding sources to address the critical facilities needs of schools in the District.  Due to the poor condition, overcrowding, and the locations of Crescent Harbor Elementary and Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center/HomeConnection, the Department of Defense is providing 80 percent of the funding to rebuild these schools.  This money is time bound and if the bond is not passed, the funding from the Department of Defense goes away.

    If the bond is approved by voters, the tax rate for taxpayers is expected to be approximately $1.24 per 1,000 assessed property value, which would be 30 cents less than what taxpayers paid in 2022 for the previous bond measure passed by voters.

    Have a question or need more information about the upcoming school bond measure? Send us an email at briefs@ohsd.net

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why can't the bond proposal just include the two schools that will have DoD funding?

    Posted by:

    There are a few reasons the Board of Directors decided to put the three schools on the upcoming bond proposal. 

    First, the three projects were selected based on aging facilities, available matching dollars (from the state and federal government) and the overall positive impact it would have on students by reducing overcrowding, increasing capacity in all elementary schools, limiting the use of portable classrooms, and focusing on the areas where there is the highest growth in population (currently and projected in the future) near Fort Nugent Park. 

    Secondly, the Department of Defense funding does not come to us in one lump sum, but in matching dollars up to 80 percent, the remaining 20 percent comes from taxpayers.  The first round of construction on the DoD schools would need to be paid for by the first round of bond sales that would then be reimbursed and utilized for future construction of the third school.  Ultimately, it allows for construction to begin sooner and more cost-efficiently on behalf of tax payers.
    Comments (-1)
  • What about schools not included in the bond project list?

    Posted by:

    Based on feedback from the community, the Oak Harbor Public Schools Board of Directors scaled back the project list to focus on the highest priority-schools and the ones included in the Department of Defense funding match.  With that being said, we know that many of our schools have aging infrastructure and need repair. If the bond is approved by 60 percent of the voters, this will free up money not spent constantly repairing three aging schools that can then be used on the other school sites in need.

    Comments (-1)
  • What would be included in the safety enhancements for all schools?

    Posted by:

    Based on community input, the Oak Harbor Public Schools Board of Directors prioritized safety in the current bond proposal. If approved by voters, all Oak Harbor Public School sites will receive safety and security enhancements, which include establishing a single-point of entry, tailoring safety plans to each building's layout, and improving safety and security systems already in place.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • What will happen to the fields at Fort Nugent if a school is built there?

    Posted by:

    The school at Fort Nugent is proposed to be built on Oak Harbor Public Schools property that was bought more than 40 years ago for future school construction.  The school would be built towards the front of the property, which leaves room for many but not all of the existing community-use fields. While in most jurisdictions, school districts are not responsible for providing parks and youth sports fields, Oak Harbor Public Schools understands the importance of these programs to our families and community. Therefore, we are working on potential solutions to provide more fields than are even currently available to the community. If the bond is approved and demolition happens on the Oak Harbor Elementary School property, there would be space for communuty-use fields. In addition, the District is committing to investing in refurbishing and maintaining Old Memorial Park for future community use. 

    Comments (-1)
  • If a new school is built at Fort Nugent, will there need to be new staff hired?

    Posted by:

    No, the staff members for Oak Harbor Elementary will be used at the school built at Fort Nugent. The number of schools and staff members will remain the same.

    Comments (-1)
  • Are there any exemptions?

    Posted by:

    There are some property tax exemptions for senior citizens, disabled individuals, and widows/widowers of veterans. For more information on qualifications for a tax exemption, go to the Department of Revenue website.

    Comments (-1)
  • Can I register to vote? Can Navy spouses register to vote?

    Posted by:

    If you are not yet registered, visit voter.votewa.gov before the next election.

    To register, you must be:

    • A citizen of the United States
    • A legal resident of Washington state
    • At least 18 years old by election day

    Military:

    • Military members may register
    • Military spouses may register even if the active-duty member maintains his or her residency elsewhere. 

    Click here to see more details on military voting.

    Comments (-1)
  • Why can’t the school district use their existing budget to cover the cost to rebuild schools?

    Posted by:

    The current state funding model provides schools with enough money for a “basic education,” which does not include additional funding to renovate or rebuild schools to address aging infrastructure and improve learning environments and safety for students. This forces districts to go out for bonds and levies to ask for additional funds to cover the costs.

    Comments (-1)
  • Why can’t the schools use ESSER funds to build the new schools and enhance safety?

    Posted by:

    These funds are already encumbered to address the additional support needed for student learning recovery and acceleration. ESSER funds also went toward providing a robust summer program, offering students the opportunity to participate in various athletic and summer camps.

    Comments (-1)
  • How do we ensure accountability that the bond dollars will go toward the intended projects?

    Posted by:

    If approved by voters, the District will ensure timely, consistent communication to the community on progress on projects and spending.  One benefit for the Oak Harbor community is that OHPS cannot collect any additional funds for projects. The amount listed on the ballot ($121 million) is the exact amount the district will receive, not a penny more, not a penny less. If the projects come in over budget, it falls on the district to come up with the funds to complete  the projects.

    Additionally, Oak Harbor Public Schools has a strong record of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. In 2006, the community passed a bond for Oak Harbor High School, which was completed on time and within our budget. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What are the benefits of having modern school buildings in our community?

    Posted by:

    Modern schools enhance neighborhoods, learning environments and safety for students and families. Additionally, researchers have found that quality school facilities impact student learning and behaviors in the classrooms. Students who aren’t distracted or uncomfortable due to environmental factors remain engaged in learning and better retain information.

    Comments (-1)
  • Why not remodel instead of rebuild new schools?

    Posted by:

    Renovation of older buildings is expensive, provides fewer benefits, and often results in unforeseen costs. New, efficient buildings have a longer lifespan, reduce maintenance and operational costs, and improve health, safety and educational opportunities. Modern schools enhance safety and improve learning environments. 

    In fact, Crescent Harbor Elementary School was recently named the top school in the nation on federal land in need of repair.  Hand-in-Hand/HomeConnection wasn’t much further behind on the list.

    Comments (-1)
  • Why is now the right time for the bond measure?

    Posted by:

    The approval of this bond measure would allow us to rebuild schools that are too old to be renovated, while allowing us to prepare for the continued growth and needs of our schools and community.  The schools on the project list were built in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, which means they were not built to handle the current growth and needs of our student population. Additionally, enhancing safety continues to be a top priority for our schools and community. 

    The bond proposal utilizes available funds provided by the Department of Defense to reduce the cost on taxpayers. Due to the poor condition, overcrowding, and the locations of Crescent Harbor Elementary and Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center/HomeConnection, the Department of Defense is providing 80 percent of the funding to rebuild these schools. This money is time bound and if the bond is not passed, the funding from the Department of Defense goes away.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will this new bond measure increase my taxes?

    Posted by:

    If the bond is approved by voters, the tax rate for taxpayers is expected to be approximately $1.24 per 1,000 assessed property value, which would be 30 cents less than what taxpayers paid in 2022 for the previous bond measure passed by voters.

    Comments (-1)

Ask Questions!

  • Have a question that isn't included in our Frequently Asked Questions?  Submit your questions via this google form or email us at briefs@ohsd.net

     

Upcoming Community Information Sessions

    • Crescent Harbor Elementary - December 1, 2022, 5:30 p.m.
    • The Center - December 5, 2022, 4 p.m.
    • Oak Harbor Elementary - December 7, 2022, 5:30 p.m.
    • Hand-in-Hand/HomeConnection - December 8, 2022, 5:30 p.m.