Thursday, August 1, 2013

Full speed ahead . . .

This evening was a Special Board Meeting for the purpose of making a final decision on the dollar amount for a November bond measure.  The process has been ongoing for a number of weeks and difficult as the estimates shift with new information about the high school site, current and projected construction costs, and different estimates from the groups supporting the work.  Going into the meeting we knew that all of the project components were estimated at this time to cost $243 million.

After much discussion, the Board made the decision to ask the community to support a $195 million bond measure.  Passage of this bond would support projects totaling $215 million with the remaining $20 million coming from projected state matching funds on the multiple projects.  I applaud the Board for their understanding of the issues that we face and for the thoughtful decision that they made this evening.

Passage of the bond will allow us to eliminate our current over-crowded conditions and accommodate projected enrollment growth.  Increased capacity will come from constructing a new comprehensive 9-12 Tahoma High School in the middle of Maple Valley.  This will then allow us to change grade level configurations in the current buildings resulting in six smaller elementary schools housing grades K-5 and two middle schools housing grades 6-8.  The increased capacity and alignments will provide greater control of class sizes and significantly reduce the number of portables n our system.
It is now time to continue sharing with the community our needs to ensure that they have the information necessary to make an informed decision.  With this decision it is full speed ahead.

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