MILTON-FREEWATER - The key to passing a bond measure for new schools in Milton-Freewater is gaining the support of teachers and parents, Sam Hubbard told the Community Facilities group Tuesday.

To help build support among the teachers, Hubbard said he had been meeting faculty to see what they wanted in new buildings.

"Teachers aren't opposed to new buildings," he said.

Recommendations inclu-ded building large classrooms with windows, plenty of storage space and room to grow.

He said more meetings are scheduled with staff at Freewater Elementary, Mac-Hi and Grove Elementary.

"The key is to find out what we want, know what we want and go after it," Hubbard said.

While the main structure would need to be covered by a bond, several components, from gym equipment to technology, could be covered by grants, he said.

In March, Hubbard said he and Superintendent Marilyn McBride are going to a state-sponsored meeting on passing bonds for schools. He also suggested the group look into hiring a professional fund-raiser to help the group.

School Board member Mardi Haggerman agreed. She estimated that not hiring a professional when the community was raising funds for the aquatic center set the group back at least six months and cost money.

"When you have someone who knows what to do, that is money well spent," she said.

Hubbard said that as the group came up with building designs and property proposal, activity would increase. He added that he was confident the city would support the efforts.

"When this town knows (a new building) is what is needed, they will vote it in," he predicted.

Hubbard said he is eager to involve the Hispanic population in the process.

"The Hispanic community is very supportive of their youth. They need to be part of this as well," he said.

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