PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Voters in Beaverton will have to decide on a new 30-year-bond that, if passed, would raise about $723 million for schools.

The bond would replace two school buildings that are more than 100 years old — Beaverton High School and Raleigh Hills Elementary.

“We are in the education business, but we are also in the facilities business, and it is our obligation or responsibility to have our students and our staff being safe buildings that they can have the best learning environment possible,” said Becky Tymchuk, vice chair of the Beaverton School District.

Part of the money, $40 million, would go toward making the school buildings earthquake-resistant. Currently, 40 schools in the district don’t meet the standards to withstand quakes.

The construction project manager, Eric Bolken, showed how the current schools are built.

“I can put pressure straight down on the building, and it’s very strong resisting that force. However, in an earthquake, the ground doesn’t move up and down,” Bolken explained while physically demonstrating the situation with LEGOs. “It moves back and forth, which then puts a different force on the structure, making them want to tip over. So as the ground shakes in an earthquake, the structures have a tendency to tip over.”

The goal of the seismic upgrades is to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“We build the shear wall in filling between the posts. Then we attach the shear wall to the posts with clips at the top and bottom of the wall typically,” he said. “Now, as the same motion happens, the shear wall stays. The unsupported wall does not.”

This would also protect the electrical service, fire sprinklers and natural gas lines while ensuring the ceiling and lights don’t fall during a quake.

Bolken said the schools would be able to function as an emergency shelter, meaning people would have a safe place to go in the event of the big one.

“We are asking a lot, but we do know by investing in strong, healthy schools, it benefits our whole community,” Tymchuk said.

If passed, the bond would also start fixing the older middle schools: Cedar Park, Five Oaks, Highland Park, Meadow Park, Mountain View and Whitford. Other schools would be addressed in future proposed bonds.

For the average homeowner in Beaverton, the bond would mean an additional $76 in taxes per year. If the proposed bond doesn’t pass, the projects won’t go forward.