Did you know that we have been given the opportunity to renovate and improve our Roseburg Public Schools? Recently, the school board met and unanimously voted to put a new bond measure on the May 17 ballot. This bond would be worth 154 million dollars and would go towards building renovations throughout the elementary, middle, and high schools.
There are many improvements that need to be made to buildings across the district to make them more structurally sound and safe for students. Buildings will receive air filtration systems complete with heating and cooling for all types of weather. The schools will also be provided with new emergency generators in case of power outages and over 5.8 million dollars in matching funds to make needed improvements for earthquake safety. This bond could also help improve the quality of exercise and fitness at Roseburg schools by providing new playground equipment, new track replacements, and new synthetic turf.
A board of overseers will be created to monitor how the money is being spent to make sure it is being spent appropriately and in the best interest of Roseburg’s K-12 students. Additionally, one recent concern that has arisen is the issue of safety on school campuses. Many parents and students themselves would argue that school safety is a pressing issue in our county that needs to be addressed, especially considering the 2015 shooting at Umpqua Community College, along with the recent threats on the Roseburg High School campus that have been acknowledged by the school board and principal Jill Weber.
Currently, there are open entrances at the front of each public school in the Roseburg school district, but this new bond measure has the potential to change that. The bond has proposed safety protocols to have locked and controlled school entrances to better protect students from any potential threats that may lurk outside.
Although some may wonder whether or not safety is a pressing issue in our small town of Roseburg, Oregon, the truth is that we live in a more dangerous county than we think. According to crimegrade.org, our zip code, which encompasses most of our town, is more dangerous than the average for other zip codes in the United States. The website gave our zip code an overall D plus rating for crime and declared our zip code to be more dangerous than 85% of the rest of the United State’s zip codes.
Although it may be hard to talk about the crime-related incidents that have affected our community, it is also important to use those incidents as a learning curve to improve our safety. These students will be our future teachers, doctors, and law enforcement; they are worth protecting as best as we can. Students deserve to feel safe on their own high school campus, but there are many students on campus who do not feel a sense of safety for one reason or another.
There are some members of our community who may not want to increase their tax rates because they may not have a child currently attending one of our local schools. However, we must try to put ourselves in each others’ shoes to better support one another, and imagine what it would feel like if we had our own children attending schools that may or may not be considered safe. We need to start prioritizing the health and safety of the youth in our communities, and this bond has the potential to do just that.
Overall, this bond could potentially improve the quality of learning and safety for each and every student in Roseburg. Please attend the School Bond Open House on April 26 from 5:30-7:00 in the RHS Student Center to learn more.