Shaping the future of East Metro
through economic advocacy.


EMEA Supports the Gresham/Barlow School Bond

September 23, 2016 12:47 PM | Jarvez Hall (Administrator)

The East Metro Economic Alliance Board of Directors has voted to support the $291.17 million school bond proposed by Gresham/Barlow School District on the November, 2016 ballot. We feel this is an important strategic investment and has the full support of our organization from both those in education and in industry.

The cost to taxpayers of this bond is estimated at $1.89 per thousand of assessed property value. According to Multnomah County, the average assessed value of a home in the school district is approximately $200,000. An individual with a home with an assessed value of $200,000 would pay an additional $31.50 a month.

The East Metro Economic Alliance (EMEA) is a non-profit organization comprised of businesses, chambers of commerce, nonprofits and public agencies working together to shape the future of East Metro through economic advocacy. EMEA brings together leaders from East Portland, Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale, and Wood Village to build consensus and promote action on issues vital to the economic development and livability of the region. One of the areas we identify as essential to economic vitality in our region is Education & Workforce Development. In fact, we advocate for “programs which develop a more efficient, integrated method of preparing skilled workers to the employers who need them.” After review, we have concluded this bond to be a prudent investment in our region.

We considered:

  • Gresham-Barlow School District will receive $8 million matching grant from state for school construction to help stretch local dollars and address urgent school building needs
  • Since 2009, all three high schools in the Gresham-Barlow school district have increased their graduation rates by double-digits with two of the three increasing their graduation rate double the increase of the overall state graduation rate during the same time period.
  • Renovating & Replacing Aging Schools to include limiting access points to school buildings and adding more modern equipment for emergency communications.
  • Renovate building systems at 17 schools including heating and cooling system upgrades, repairing/replacing roofs and providing energy efficiency upgrades thus making each building less costly to operate.
  • Major Renovations of Sam Barlow and Gresham High Schools, 16 New Classrooms at Hall, Hollydale Elementary and Deep Creek-Damascus K-8 and the replacement of North Gresham and East Gresham Elementary Schools.
  • Increased opportunities for local contractors, suppliers and other businesses to bid and win contracts in support of these projects thus keeping money within the East Metro region and also adding local jobs.
  • Estimated Bond Cost: $1.89 per every $1,000 of assessed value. Based on average assessed home value of $200K, homeowners would pay an estimated $31.50 a month. Total estimated value: $291.17 million.

This bond will result in even greater educational performance of our students and make our region more attractive for investments. It will also lower the cost per student of operating 17 schools in the Gresham/Barlow School District. With Gresham/Barlow School District’s record of improving graduation rates at a hiring rate of improvement than the state average, the East Metro Economic Alliance views this bond as a sound investment and it receives our full endorsement.

Visit for more information on the Gresham/Barlow School Bond.

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Office: (503) 292-8881
Fax: (503)-292-8237

PO Box 422
Gresham, OR 97030

East Metro Economic Alliance is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. PO Box 422, Gresham, OR 97030

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