Baker 5J receives commitment for $4 Million OSCIM Facilities Grant

By on Friday, January 8th, 2021 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

BAKER CITY – Baker School District 5J has been selected to receive $4 million in state matching grant funds from the Oregon Department of Education’s Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching (OSCIM) program.

Only districts that plan to submit a general obligation bond measure in May 2021 were allowed to apply, and those selected must successfully pass bond measures to collect the OSCIM funds.

The Baker School Board is considering seeking a $4 million bond measure to upgrade mechanical and electrical systems in all schools and to construct a kitchen/cafeteria at Baker Middle School. Bond funds would also be used for safety and security improvements at every school.

The School Board will discuss the bond proposal at a work session on Jan. 21 at 5 PM. Access to the board meeting, occurring on January 21 at 6 PM, for public comment can be found by clicking HERE. The public is invited to offer input. A final decision on whether to move ahead with a bond measure would be made in the February 18th board meeting.

The OSCIM grant program was established by the 2015 Oregon Legislature. The intent of the program is to provide matching grant funds to school districts as a way to increase community support for school facility bond elections.

In all, 11 Oregon districts were approved to receive a combined $43.1 million in OSCIM funds if they approve bond measures in May 2021. Sixty percent of the grants were awarded on a “priority” basis to smaller, more rural districts with lower property value. The remaining 40 percent of the grants were awarded on a “first-in-line” basis according to when applications were submitted. As part of their applications, the districts were required to describe the types of projects the grant dollars would fund, along with a facilities assessment and a long-range facilities plan.

About the Baker School DistrictNationally recognized Baker School District 5J (BSD) is a major employer in Baker City, OR, serving 1,700 students locally with an additional 3,000 online students across the state of Oregon. Through enterprising, collaborative endeavors, BSD is creating an innovative educational foundation for future Oregonians. BSD believes strong school collaboration with local partners enables us to create vibrant communities that support lifelong learners.