Jackson County residents vote yes on measure 15-171

Jackson County. Or.- Jackson County residents voted yes on measure 15-171 in Tuesday’s special election. The 31 year, 68 million dollar bond will improve safety, security and learning environments in Phoenix-Talent schools.

The bond will allow the district to address safety needs, while also upgrading the high school’s facilities, providing energy savings, and solving overcrowding.

Phoenix-Talent School District superintendent Brent Barry says the measure will change the future of all the schools.

“Every school will be impacted in our district,” he said.

Barry says he would like to add an academic wing and career technical education facility at the high school.

“This really sets our district up for kind of a long range goal and facility for our whole school district,” Barry said.

The district will also receive a 4 million dollar state matching grant.

About 30.5 percent of ballots have been returned. Jackson County Clerk, Chris Walker says the turnout rate is low but higher than the last special election in May.

“You just can’t predict what voters are going to do in any particular election,” she said. “In our last special district election … we were just under 20 percent turnout so even though we are at 30 percent that is still a considerable amount higher.”

Regardless, Walker says voters should vote.

“Ultimately, it just shows that there is no insignificant election,” she said.

Renovations at some of the Phoenix-Talent schools could begin as early as next summer, with new facilities at the high school breaking ground in 2020.

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