Redmond, Wash. – At its March 3 meeting, the Lake Washington School District Board of Directors voted to place a $404 million bond measure on the April 22 ballot. The bonds would build schools to house projected enrollment growth and reduce current overcrowding.
“The district needs to act immediately to address our urgent and critical need for additional classroom space,” noted Dr. Traci Pierce, superintendent.
The measure would provide funds to build three new elementary schools (two in Redmond and one in Kirkland) and a new middle school in Redmond. Juanita High School in Kirkland would be rebuilt to house a larger number of students and a 600-student STEM-focused high school would also be built on that campus. Lake Washington High School, which was designed before the district reconfigured from three grades in high school to four grades, would receive an addition. Read More >>
A $755 bond measure on the February ballot earned close to 58% yes votes, which fell just short of the 60% supermajority needed to pass.
“We heard concerns from the community about the overall size of the February bond measure,” noted Board President Jackie Pendergrass. “These projects are needed now to reduce current overcrowding and keep up with the rapid growth in our enrollment.”
Projects that were part of the February ballot that are not included in the April ballot measure would be considered in four years. Those include modernizing Kamiakin and Evergreen Middle Schools; modernizing Kirk, Mead and Rockwell Elementary Schools; adding an internationally-focused grades 6-12 secondary school in Sammamish and adding on to Eastlake High School.
“The board’s plan allows the district to first address the immediate need for additional space, and then to engage the community around the longer term need to continue to modernize our aging school facilities,” noted Dr. Pierce.
Cost of the measure to taxpayers is estimated to be 25 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value. That would amount to about $124 per year for the owner of the average home in Lake Washington School District, valued at approximately $495,000.
“This decision was very difficult,” noted Board President Pendergrass. “The quality of our school district attracts families, which benefits our communities. But it also means we need to create room in our schools for those children. Ultimately, we must rely on our communities to fund those classrooms.”