Hearings set on Battle Ground schools bond money

District seeks input tonight, Thursday on using leftover dollars for repairs

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The Battle Ground school district wants to use money left over from the 2005 voter-approved bond measure to fix some of its schools.

The district by law is required to seek public input before it can use the bond money for projects not included in the original bond measure. It will do so at two hearings: 6 p.m. today at Yacolt Primary School and 6 p.m. Thursday at Prairie High School.

The school board will have to approve the expenditures.

The money is from the remaining state match of the bond measure and interest accrued since then, which totals $5.54 million.

The need for repairs is especially visible at Yacolt Primary and Laurin Middle schools, district officials say. Each has multiple roof leaks. Ceiling tiles are continually replaced and makeshift systems of hoses and buckets have been installed in classrooms, offices and hallways to divert the rainwater, district officials said in a statement.

At Yacolt Primary, mold was recently detected in some rooms and offices, affecting air quality. One room was vacated and the students were moved to a portable. Air purifiers have been set up in some areas.

A list of all needed repairs is posted on the district website, Battle Ground Public Schools.

When the school board approved the bond measure for the 2005 ballot, it had said that leftover money would be returned to taxpayers, according to district information.

A refund of the $5.54 million would equal a one-time reduction on property tax bills of approximately 98 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, according to the district. That would amount to $197 for a $200,000 house, or $3.78 per week.