Royal City passes bond to update security at two schools

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By RACHAL PINKERTON

Staff Writer

ROYAL CITY - The Royal School District’s $16.58 million bond passed in a 62.96 percent vote on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The bond will make security updates to the middle school and high school, as well as update and enlarge the district’s bus garage.

Prior to the vote, the public was generally in favor of the bond.

“We have had public reaction and conversations,” said Roger Trail, Royal School District Superintendent. “The conversations I have had with administrators and board members have been favorable. Most businesses downtown have signs. I’m not aware of any organized opposition to the bond.”

The last bond, passed in April 2013, passed by a single vote and was preceded by a lot of opposition.

Originally, the new bond was set for $1.25 per $1,000 assessed property value. On Friday, Feb. 8, the Royal School District announced that due to an updated assessment by the Grant County Auditor’s Office, the bond amount was decreasing by 16 cents to $1.09 per $1,000 assessed property value. This new bond will add $9 a month per $100,000 to the current bond. Even with the decrease in taxes, the overall bond amount will stay the same.

“The reasoning behind the changes in the bond is related to safety,” Trail said. “We did a survey. It showed that people were concerned about safety. It will entirely reconfigure the entrances and offices at the middle school and high schools. The plan is to connect the library, cafeteria and gym to the main building, making one main entrance.”

The bus garage, built in the 1960s, will also get extended and updated. One of the two maintenance bays is too short for buses. The other barely covers the end of the buses and mechanics are currently working on buses outside in the weather.

The final results from the election will be available on Feb. 22 from the Grant County Auditor’s Office.

Rachal Pinkerton can be reached via email at rpinkerton@columbiabasinherald.com.

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