Voters defy odds, groundbreaking occurs soon

By Observer Upload November 30, 2010 03:52 pm

Imbler is doing its part to reverse the disinvestment in education that has become so prevalent in Oregon. Proof is in the groundbreaking for a new elementary school that may take place as early as next March, if Mother Nature cooperates. Contractors and architects say the new 27,000-square-foot school could take from six to 10 months to complete and be ready for the 2011-12 school year. The new school will replace Imbler’s aging elementary school complex. The main building was built in 1912. The gym, Wade Hall, was built in 1929, and the east wing was built in 1954.

Imbler voters Sept. 21 approved the $4 million bond levy for the construction of the new school. The margin of victory was a whopping 75.4 to 24.4. That’s huge. The margin was staggering, particularly in light of how reluctant voters across the state have been to support school district bond levies during tough economic times.

On Nov. 2 seven of eight bond levies for school construction projects were defeated in Oregon. Many of the defeats came by overwhelming margins. The lone bond levy that passed was one for a $63.5 million construction project in the Forest Grove School District.

That Imbler defied the general rule was and is amazing. Approving the bond levy was a testament to the power of education, the influence of caring teachers and the local area’s dedication to challenging, competitive public schools.

Imbler residents will pay a little more in taxes because of their commitment to excellence. But this investment will pay dividends. It’s an important education investment in the future, one that has been proven to draw money and business and should pay for itself in the long term. It gives hope during recessionary times that things truly will get better.

Imbler’s investment in a human-scale school, and not a factory outlet school, with all the individual attention and quality teacher-to-student time it implies, will help provide the area with tomorrow’s leaders. Congratulations to Imbler for a job well done.