The Eastmont School District is touting a boost in state money if voters pass a bond package in April's election.

The $117 million capital improvement bond is going to voters again after narrowly missing the 60 percent threshold to pass in February.

The district says the State Legislature’s increase in state-provided construction funds will increase the state match for the project from $20 million to more than $27 million.

The Eastmont School Board voted unanimously to fast-track another vote on the bond just 10 days after it failed by a fraction of a point, garnering 59.5 percent.

According to the district, the bond would modernize three of Eastmont’s oldest and most overcrowded schools - Cascade, Kenroy, and Lee Elementary - and include major upgrades at Rock Island Elementary.

“The improvements would include the replacement of fifteen aging portable classrooms with new brick-and-mortar classrooms,” the district stated in a release.

The district says the boost in state funding will reduce the local taxpayer contribution because the district will not be increasing the scope of projects in the next bond.

Senator Brad Hawkins thinks the timing of the extra funding could uniquely benefit the Eastmont district. “The Legislature placed a major emphasis on supporting K-12 facilities this year in the capital budget. This was due, in part, to an influx of additional revenue from the capital gains tax,” said Hawkins.

“Since the capital gains tax may be repealed this November, the excess revenues flowing into the capital budget this past session was wisely considered ‘temporary’ so the increase in state matching funds is currently only available to school district bond measures approved through the end of the state’s two-year budget cycle. The timing of the increased matching funds and Eastmont’s April bond measure could mean if approved, that the community’s dollars would extend a bit further than previously anticipated.”

The vote on the $117 million bond will take place on April 23.

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Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby

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