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School facilities matching grant program benefits 13 districts

Thirteen school districts whose voters approved construction bonds in May will get state help in paying for them. The recent sale of $52.6 million in state General Obligation bonds will augment money voters approved in May.

The funding comes as part of the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching (OSCIM) program, which was created by the 2015 Oregon Legislature. It provides a dollar-to-dollar match of up to $4 million to districts whose voters approve local school construction bonds.  

The money will help finance a number of school construction projects around the state, including a new vocational technical education building in McMinnville and a new elementary building in Milton-Freewater. Other districts receiving grants are Nyssa, Echo, Adrian, Mapleton, Gaston, South Lane, Hood River County, Junction City, Sisters, Athena-Weston and Yamhill Carlton.

The combined total of all of the projects will be $313 million, which includes local bond money plus the state matching funds.

Another 11 districts will be eligible for matching grants if their bond measures are approved by voters in November. They are Vale, Estacada, Blachly, Vernonia, Falls City, Crow-Applegate-Lorane, Umatilla, Sherwood, Riddle, Gresham-Barlow and Jefferson.

“When we invest in Oregon’s education infrastructure, we are investing in our future,” State Treasurer Ted Wheeler said in a press release.