Since the community approved the $619.7 million construction bond in May 2018, Salem-Keizer Public Schools has been able to fund additional projects and add scope to existing projects beyond that promised in the original bond package.

Through market premiums, earnings on bond proceeds, grants and reimbursements, the total approved bond program has grown from the original, or base bond amount of $619.7 million, to $667.7 million without adding costs for the taxpayer.

Funds have been dedicated to construction projects as recommended through the boundary adjustment process at Eyre, Grant, Kennedy and Miller elementary schools, and Houck Middle School. Design modifications at McKay and South Salem high schools were identified by each school’s design team early in the architectural design process and have also been added to the bond program.

“We’re pleased that because of the additional funds, we have the opportunity and the ability to do more for our students than we originally promised,” said Mike Wolfe, chief operations officer. “It feels really good to go above and beyond for students and our communities.”

The district recently completed work on the first project in the 2018 bond program. Gubser Elementary School celebrated the completion of a $5.5 million remodel with a ribbon cutting ceremony a few days before school opened for the new school year. Gubser received four new classrooms, a new cafeteria and kitchen, two outdoor covered play areas were rebuilt and the portable classrooms were removed. The project was finished on time and on budget.

The 2018 bond promises to renovate schools to relieve overcrowding, expand career and technical (vocational) education programs, improve safety and security, add science labs, expand access to technology and more. Every school in the district will receive some kind of improvement in the bond program, and nearly half of the district’s schools are planned to receive a capital expansion or renovation.

For more information on the 2018 bond program, please visit the projects status page.