Hermiston School District made the final payment to clear all outstanding pre-2008 bond debt, which funded expanding and remodeling local schools to provide capacity for the rapidly growing student population and reduce overcrowding in classrooms.
In March 1999 voters approved bonds totaling $39.9 million. Since then, the board of education and administration have budgeted to aggressively pay off bond debt and watch for opportunities to save taxpayer dollars along the way. In 2004, the district refinanced its bonds, reducing the interest rate and saving nearly $1.6 million taxpayer dollars over the life of the bonds. In November 2008, voters approved an additional $69.9 million general obligation bond. The district used those funds to build new elementary schools and a middle school, which addressed continued enrollment growth, replaced aging infrastructure, and created quality, modern learning environments. The November 2008 bond payoff dates are scheduled for June 2026 and June 2029.
With the final payment of the pre-2008 bonds, the district expects “school bond” property tax rates to decrease approximately $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed value. The district's general fund property tax will remain at $4.8877 per $1,000.
“Our elementary schools, middle schools, and Hermiston High School have continued to see rapid growth in the number of students we serve, and we expect this growth to continue into the future. Bond funding has enabled the school district to address classroom capacity needs. We take seriously our financial obligations to pay bonds off on-time and clear debt off our books. Thank you to the voters who have supported our students and school district over the years.”
-Tricia Mooney, Hermiston School District Superintendent
Hermiston School District continues to grow at a faster pace than comparably sized districts in rural Oregon, and it is the largest school district in Eastern Oregon. As Hermiston’s population climbs, the board of education and administration are preparing to meet the needs of the ever-growing student body and community.