I am extremely grateful to our community for their support of our schools, the bond measure, and the future of all kids in our community.
I want to thank each and every one of you for the incredible effort and support that was put into the 2018 bond campaign. Due to your vote of confidence, our schools will see safety improvements, opportunities to expand vocational and technical education, and vital improvements to our middle school. This was three years of research and engagement in every step of the way.
I would especially like to thank our administrators, our teachers, classified school employees, our passionate parents, volunteers and our entire School Board who worked diligently to provide outreach to our community.
As we move forward with project develop, my team will work diligently to continue on every phase of our school improvements.
Thank you again for your vote of support, and your continued support for all of our kids.
Astoria School District
ASTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT BOND RATING IMPROVES
This past week, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Astoria School District General Obligation Bond rating to A1. This vote of confidence will improve the District’s ability to have investors interested in our facility bonds when we go to sale later this month. The increase in confidence from Moody’s reflects the district’s commitment to financial sustainability, while providing an excellent education for all students.
With nearly 63% of the vote in November, Astoria voters approved over $70 million in funds to make critical investments in safety and security, needed repairs and energy efficiencies, replacement of the diamond wing of Astoria Middle School, and investments in vocational and technical education.
As part of a long-term commitment to the community, the Astoria School District Board of Directors is engaging in outreach to parents and the broader community through all phases of bond project design and construction.
Design Advisory Committees
In collaboration with the architects Astor, Astoria Middle School, and Astoria High School are in the process of putting together Design Advisory Committees. This committee will consist of 12 to 20 parents, staff members, and students. This committee will work throughout the life of the bond with the architects to help with input on the designs of the buildings in which the committees are working in. It is also important to note that in addition to the Design Committee meetings, the architect will also be conducting detailed department-by-department staff conferencing sessions with all teachers and school and district staff affected by the school modernization. There will also be a number of community forums scheduled to solicit additional community feedback and input into design. Please note that the middle school and high school Design Advisory Committees will be making visits to schools in the Portland area.
Cornerstone Management Group, Inc. is our new project manager for the different projects outlined in the bond. Cornerstone Management Group, Inc. has worked throughout the State of Oregon on numerous school facility upgrades. In addition, Ann Gyde, a local project manager, is part of the Cornerstone team and lives here in Astoria. She has provided project management support for Clatsop Community College and the Astoria Library.
The District has hired BLR&B Architects. BLR&B provided architect services in the 2000 Astoria School District facility bond and they have provided the architect services for all the pre-bond work the District has completed before the November facility bond election
Astoria School District Receives Favorable Bond Pricing –Saving Taxpayers Real Money
At the end of last week, Astoria School District sold $70 million worth of facilities bonds on the open market. The recent increase in Moody’s bond rating to A1 reflected prudent financial strength of the district, and faith in the financial strength of our Astoria community. This led to desire by investors from around the country to purchase our local bonds.
With this surprisingly favorable pricing, the newly estimated rate will drop the first-year cost from $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value to .92 cents; this is a significant savings from what was communicated as part of the facility campaign. The District looks forward to working with our local stakeholders on every phase of design and construction.
To make sure every penny is wisely directed, the Astoria School District will soon be announcing the appointment of a Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee. Over the next two years, Astoria schools will be making critical investments in safety and security, needed repairs, and investments in vocational and technical education.